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'I was aware of his history but that wasn’t anything to do with it'

Wales boss Ryan Giggs says Neil Taylor was left out of the squad for footballing reasons.

Wales' Neil Taylor gets a red card for his horror tackle on Seamus Coleman.
Wales' Neil Taylor gets a red card for his horror tackle on Seamus Coleman.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

WALES MANAGER RYAN Giggs insists his side will not be on a revenge mission when they welcome Ireland back to the Cardiff City Stadium next week, while playing down the absence of defender Neil Taylor from his squad.

James McClean’s strike ended any hope Wales had of reaching the World Cup with a 1-0 victory that silenced the Welsh capital back in October last year.

The Nations League clash will be Giggs’ first competitive game in charge of his country, and he will be urging his side to keep cool heads before sending them out onto the pitch.

“When you start thinking about revenge and stuff like that it can throw you off track,” he said.

“It is part of my job if there is anything in their minds about revenge, I have to tell them to get it out of your head.

“I understand. I was at home watching it on TV and was just as frustrated as anyone but that is gone.

“We have new players and it is something you have to forget. It is part of football you get bad defeats and sometimes you are unlucky. It was a long time ago, for me it is a new game and it is our job to make sure we perform as best we can on the night.”

Giggs is without Wales’ Euro 2016 hero Hal Robson-Kanu, who announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday.

But Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett has come back in from the cold having not played since 2015. The 26-year-old replaces Neil Taylor, whose horror tackle on Seamus Coleman is still fresh in the memories of many Ireland fans.

But Giggs insists his omission is purely down to footballing reasons and not his chequered history in the fixture.

I was aware of his history but that wasn’t anything to do with it, it was just for the reasons I’ve given,” added Giggs.

“The flexibility Dummett and Davies give me, they can play as full-backs or centre-halves in a three, and they’re playing.

“I spoke to him at the end of last season, but players who haven’t been picked know that it’s going to chop and change.

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“Neil hasn’t been playing, but that could change. I’ve played with Neil and seen the qualities he’s got, he’s a great lad but at the moment Ben Davies and Paul Dummett are playing regular and they have that quality.

“The door isn’t shut, and it’s hard leaving players who have done so well for Wales out of the squad. They’re not just players, they’re people and he’s a great lad and I know he loves coming away with his country. These are the difficult decisions I have to make.”

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