Wales daring to dream at Euro 2016, admits Vokes

Date published: Sunday 26th June 2016 2:19

Sam Vokes: Striker started as Wales beat Northern Ireland

Sam Vokes: Striker started as Wales beat Northern Ireland

Sam Vokes admits Wales are allowing themselves to dream after battling through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Wales edged past Northern Ireland into the last eight after winning a tense Battle of Britain in Paris.

Northern Ireland had blunted the attacking threat of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey until Gareth McAuley’s late own goal sent Wales through to a quarter-final with either Hungary or Belgium.

Asked whether Wales were wondering how far they could go in the tournament, Vokes said: “Of course, you have to when you get to this stage.

“They’re all big games and the next one is the quarters. You never know (what could happen) if you get a result there.”

Hungary and Belgium meet in Toulouse on Sunday night for the right to play Wales in Lille on Friday.

Wales swept aside Russia 3-0 in their previous game to win their group at England’s expense.

But Wales never hit those heady heights at the Parc des Princes as they were stifled by Northern Ireland.

Wales managed only two shots on target during the 90 minutes and manager Chris Coleman admitted it was a more difficult game than he imagined.

“Every game is different, it’s tough to go into every game with the same mentality,” said Vokes.

“But you’ve got to keep grinding out results, whether we’re playing 100 per cent as we were against Russia or against Northern Ireland when we were off it a bit.

“With it being a British derby, it was always going to be difficult to break them down and I thought Northern Ireland were brilliant in the way they went about it. But Gareth’s ball across the box was the difference and to nick it at the end was a great feeling.

“They are special moments and that’s what this journey’s been all about. We build on that and hopefully get another one next week.”

Wales, meanwhile, are waiting to discover the extent of skipper Ashley Williams’ shoulder injury.

Williams is due to have scans on the shoulder he damaged in a nasty collision with team-mate Jonathan Williams in the closing stages on Saturday.

The centre-back battled on to complete the game but his left arm was put in a sling after the final whistle.

“Ash is a bit tender with his shoulder,” Coleman said after the game.

“The next 24 to 48 hours will be key, whether it’s bruising and just impact, or whether there’s damage to any ligaments or a tear in his muscle. Hopefully it’s not that. But he was struggling, he couldn’t move his arm.”

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