Euro 2012 qualifiers: Chris Gunter hails Wales revival

Chris Gunter
Chris Gunter made his Wales debut against New Zealand in 2007

Defender Chris Gunter has said a third-place finish in the Euro 2012 qualifiers would give Wales confidence heading into the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Wales would claim third spot in Group G if they win in Bulgaria and Switzerland lose at home to Montenegro on Tuesday.

"That would be a massive achievement," said Nottingham Forest's Gunter.

"That would be a real plus to take into this time next year when we will be playing in the next qualifiers."

Wales had lost four consecutive matches in their Euro 2012 campaign before securing a first win against Montenegro last month.

And after Friday's 2-0 win against Switzerland in Swansea, Wales would claim an unlikely third spot should results go their way on Tuesday.

Such an outcome, according to Gunter, would highlight Wales' development as a side since Gary Speed succeeded John Toshack as national team boss last December.

"We had to go through a couple of disappointing results at the beginning when the gaffer first took over," added Gunter, referring to the four defeats in Speed's first five games in charge.

"But the transition has been really good and you can see it almost look a totally different Welsh team than it did at the start of the group.

"We look forward to meeting up and there's a real good atmosphere around Welsh football at the moment. We need to keep that going.

"It would obviously have been nice to compete and qualify but these games have given us a real chance to get our way of playing."

At the Vasil Levski Stadium on Tuesday, Wales will face a side now bottom of the group and who parted with coach Lothar Matthaus last month.

Caretaker coach Mihail Madanski will be in charge of Bulgaria for the first time and Gunter is not taking the opposition for granted.

"It's nice to end well but we still have to go to Bulgaria on Tuesday and we know that will be a really tough game," added Gunter.

"Them having a new manager recently, we know the reaction you can get from that."

Wales squad:

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion - on loan at Birmingham City)

Defenders: Darcy Blake (Cardiff City), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Lewin Nyatanga (Bristol City)

Midfielders: Joe Allen (Swansea City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Andrew Crofts (Norwich City), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), David Vaughan (Sunderland), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Hal Robson-Kanu, Simon Church (both Reading), Steve Morison (Norwich City), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Stand-by list: Lewis Price (Crystal Palace), Neal Eardley (Blackpool), Ashley Richards (Swansea City), Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic), David Cotterill (Swansea City), Andy Dorman (Crystal Palace), Jermaine Easter (Crystal Palace), Ched Evans (Sheffield United)

Top Stories