Manager Gary Speed pleased with Wales progress

Gary Speed
Speed succeeded John Toshack as Wales manager

Gary Speed is pleased with Wales' progress since he took over as manager, but says there is plenty of hard work ahead for his team.

Despite losing 1-0 to England in a Euro 2012 qualifier, manager Speed was pleased with his side's performance at Wembley.

Wales lie a lowly 117th in Fifa's world rankings.

"We have come a long way in six months and we've still got a long way to go," said Speed.

Wales had secured their first win of a largely disappointing Euro 2012 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Montenegro in Cardiff.

They complete their campaign when they host Switzerland in Swansea on 7 October, before travelling to Sofia to face Bulgaria four days later.

Their attention will then turn to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, with Wales drawn in Group A along with Scotland, Croatia, Serbia, Belgium and Macedonia.

Speed believes Wales' performance at Wembley will hold them in good stead when the World Cup campaign begins in September, 2012.

"England are a top four team in the world and I thought we dominated the second half," added the former Newcastle United midfielder.

"The way we passed the ball and how comfortable we were on the ball gives us great heart moving on.

"We've got a long way to go and we've still got a lot of work to put in over the next 12 months.

"If we can work like we have then we have a really good chance of achieving something."

Wales faced Fabio Capello's side at Wembley without Premier League players Craig Bellamy and David Vaughan, who were both suspended.

But the manager believes he is building a squad that will be capable of coping with the absence of key players.

"We're going to have to miss good players through injury and suspension," said Speed.

"It's cost us in the past and we've got to get to a point where if we miss the big players then it's not going to cost us as much as it has done and I think we're on that right track."