Will Vaulks: Wales omission 'hurts' says Cardiff City midfielder

By Chris WathanBBC Sport Wales
Will Vaulks
Will Vaulks has won six caps for Wales after making his debut against Trinidad and Tobago in 2019

Cardiff midfielder Will Vaulks has admitted his doubts over his Wales future after being overlooked for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Vaulks was not in the squad for the games with Belgium and the Czech Republic and also missed out in November's Nations League games.

The 27-year-old said he will not give up on his ambitions, including Euro 2020.

"I don't know if it will happen now under the current manager," he said.

"Because I think I would have been there if I was wanted."

Vaulks - who qualifies for Wales via his mother - was given his debut by Ryan Giggs against Trinidad & Tobago in March 2019.

Vaulks relishing long throw battle with Roberts

He has not featured since a substitute appearance in October's friendly defeat by England and says he has not been told why he has been left out of recent squads despite a solid season in South Wales, including four goals in 35 Championship outings.

He will have a chance to impress in the hostility of a South Wales derby on Saturday - one of six Wales internationals who could feature - but he admitted: "I don't think if I scored a hat-trick I would get a phone-call to say I was being called up.

"I'm not going to lie, I was very disappointed not to be selected but I half-expected it because I was playing well before the last camp and wasn't selected then.

"I don't know why and I'm a bit disappointed I've not had a reason. That's football, it's a pretty ruthless business, and it's up to the manager.

"It does hurt - people who know me know how much football means to me and I was so proud to be in the Welsh set-up so to have it taken away is disappointing."

Wales face Belgium in Leuven on March 24 with a home friendly with Mexico sandwiched between the visit of the Czech Republic on March 30.

Vaulks' Cardiff teammates Kieffer Moore, Harry Wilson and Johnny Williams have all been selected, with Vaulks admitting it will be hard watching them at the training ground Wales share with Cardiff City, but that he hopes an impressive run in competitive results continues into the 2023 World Cup campaign.

Wales caretaker manager Rob Page - who has stepped in for Giggs who has "mutually agreed" not to be involved in this month's games - was asked about Vaulks' omission and did not rule out a recall.

Likewise, Vaulks says he hasn't given up on forcing his way back into plans as Wales prepare for this summer's European Championships.

"I can only focus on Cardiff, and it's going pretty well I am performing at a decent level," he said. "I will always try and improve and get better

Keep knocking on the door and you never know the phone call might come.

"I have never given up on anything. I don't think I can do much more - I'm not saying I'm playing unbelievably week-in, week-out, but I think I've done enough,.

"It's out of my hands and will keep performing and hopefully they see something because I think I can offer something."

Vaulks knows he could make a point in this weekend's South Wales derby, although focus will be on helping Cardiff City end a run of four games without a victory against rivals Swansea City.

Defeat for the Bluebirds at the Liberty Stadium would also see Swansea become the first side to complete a league double in the 109 years of the fixture.

"There's no hiding away from the fact it's a massive derby game, and we've not done so well recently," said Vaulks, who featured in December's 2-0 win for Swansea at Cardiff City Stadium.

I see players do interviews and pretend it's not happening. But we all know it is, we are not daft, it's a massive game.

"But our focus is also on the league position because we need the win to get back to where we want to be again at the end of the season.

"We need to start winning games again quick. That's what we want and the manager wants and games are running out.

"If we do win tomorrow and not concede that record, that will be great, but I'd also be just as happy to be three points higher than we are now."