June 22, 2021

‘I love the pressure’ – James ready to carry Wales expectation after being on Manchester United fringes

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The 23-year-old winger has struggled for regular playing time at Old Trafford but will be a key player for his country at Euro 2020

Daniel James says he loves playing under pressure as he gears up for Wales’ opening game of Euro 2020.

Wales will start their campaign with a match against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday.

The 23-year-old winger played a limited role for Manchester United last season, making 15 Premier League appearances, but he is expected to be key for Robert Page’s side this summer. 

What has been said?

James says he is used to dealing with pressure in high stakes matches and is raring to go for Wales. 

“I think being involved in a lot of pressured games obviously helps. They’ve calmed down now, definitely,” he told Sky Sports. “Before the game you have a few butterflies, but it’s more excitement than nerves and as soon as I get out on that pitch I forget it all, so I wouldn’t say I get too nervous anymore.

“I love the pressure. I like the excitement and I kind of thrive off it. Obviously, I’ve got to set myself my own targets and I want to contribute to the team as much as I can, getting goals and assists and, if I’m not, it’s always working hard on the pitch and trying to do my best.”

He added: “It’s been a big wait. We’ve waited that extra year to get here and now we’re really excited. The days are going so quick and now all eyes on Saturday really for that first game.

“I’m so proud to represent this country every time I put that shirt on and to be involved in the campaign to get here was unbelievable.

“I started off that campaign with my debut and to actually be here now is unbelievable. As soon as I put that shirt on I’ve got to let the emotions settle down and play it as a normal game. I can’t wait to get started.”

Who else is in Wales’ group?

After the clash with Switzerland, Wales will turn their attention to Turkey on June 16. Wales will then round off the group stage with a trip to Rome to take on Italy on June 20.

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