Olivia Clark column: Wales goalkeeper on Croatia and Henry Thomas


We definitely want to put things right in this camp as we look to finish top of our qualification group knowing our fate is still in our own hands if we get wins against Croatia and Kosovo.

We are all focused on the job at hand, but that doesn’t mean we are not disappointed to have dropped four points to Ukraine in the last qualifiers as we only managed two draws.

We didn’t really know what to expect from Ukraine. Their ranking is not far below us, they lost to Croatia which they will be disappointed by, but they gave us two hard games.

We wanted to take lessons from the first game, but Ukraine executed their game plan brilliantly.

It wasn’t a disaster by any means but we know that the result means we are now needing to win our final two qualifiers to put ourselves in a good spot and to win the group.

The last draw, especially, felt like a loss, but when we look at it analytically, we aren’t in a bad position at all.

As a goalkeeper it can be hard when you see the game in front of you and it is not unfolding like you would have wanted. It can be hard, you can’t control anything, but ultimately we have to just give credit to Ukraine I think.

As much as it was frustrating, we haven’t spoken too much about it. Our manager Rhian Wilkinson has said it was not the camp we wanted but it was the camp we needed, and I think everyone is on board with that message.

In Nations League Group A, we spent a whole year really playing higher-ranked sides and being like Ukraine – sitting deep and playing for a draw. So we’ve had to readjust and I think this has been a completely different challenge.

We know we have to put things right now and it will be a tough start against Croatia. We know it is going to be extremely hot and I don’t think the pitch will be too great.

Croatia are not a bad team at all – they beat Ukraine – so we know we need to be better and the heat won’t help us.


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