Joe Allen: Suspension for World Cup qualifier v Austria 'a huge blow'

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Aaron Ramsey 'didn't know' where Panenka penalty first happened

Joe Allen says his suspension for Wales' next 2018 World Cup qualifier against Austria in September is a "huge blow on a personal level".

The midfielder received his second yellow card in as many campaign games as they drew 1-1 against Serbia.

Stoke City's Allen says he went into the game hoping to avoid a booking, but it was hard to avoid because of the "type of game" Wales were in.

"I really struggled to stay out of the referee's book," said Allen.

"And I'm really disappointed I'll be missing the next one."

Allen says Wales coped with the absence of fellow midfielder Gareth Bale, who missed the match in Belgrade through a suspension of his own.

Joe Allen takes on Serbia
Joe Allen left Swansea City for Liverpool in 2012

Allen expects his own absence when Wales host Austria on Saturday, 2 September to be handled in similar fashion, before he is available again for the Group D trip to Moldova on Tuesday, 5 September.

"This team's shown - we missed Gareth - but when players come out, people are ready to step in and do the job," said Allen.

"From my point of view I'm really confident that the lads will do the job against Austria and I'll have my work cut out to get back in for the game after that."

Wales complete their qualifiers away at Georgia and at home against Republic of Ireland in October.

Aaron Ramsey's Panenka penalty put Wales ahead in Belgrade before Aleksandar Mitrovic replied with 17 minutes left.

Group D
How they stand now

Wales stayed third in the group on eight points with table-toppers Serbia top and second-placed Republic of Ireland four points above them.

Manager Chris Coleman believes Wales can bridge the gap in their remaining games, a view Allen's fellow midfielder Ramsey shares.

"We have to win the double header in a few months' time," said the Arsenal midfielder.

"We are looking forward to it and have the quality to do it.

"It's really important and we are confident we can win both games.

"I think we are still in a strong position. We had a good result in the end. It is a difficult place to come and we have certainly improved as a team.

"You only have to look back a few years ago and we took a heavy defeat here (in Belgrade) so it shows how far we have come.

"Austria is a massive game."

'Gutted the season is ending' - Ramsey

Ramsey is also satisfied at his personal finish to the season with his club Arsenal and Wales.

"That's what I was aiming to do and I feel good in myself," he said.

"I'm gutted the season is coming to an end. I'm hoping to carry this (form) into next season."

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