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Wales' draw with Gibraltar - the pundits' verdict

Rob Page and his staff during the national anthem in Portugal on Thursday
Rob Page (centre) managed Port Vale and Northampton Town before joining the Wales coaching set-up [Getty Images]

Robert Page's Wales have faced criticism after being held to a drab goalless draw by a Gibraltar side ranked 203rd in the world on Thursday.

Some Welsh fans booed after the friendly stalemate at the Estádio Do Algarve in Portugal, while there were chants of "We want Page out" after the game.

The dispiriting draw comes after Wales failed to secure a place at Euro 2024 having lost to Poland on penalties in the play-off final after finishing outside the top two in their qualifying group.

BBC Sport Wales brings you the pick of the reaction from pundits on what was an embarrassing result for Welsh football, even taking into account the fact that Page played a youthful, inexperienced side.

Malcolm Allen

"It was a stage for the young players to make an impression and they didn't, apart from one, Lewis Koumas. He has the potential to step up to the first team," former Wales forward Allen told BBC Radio Cymru.

"You expected people like [Rubin] Colwill and [Rabbi] Matondo to make more of their chance, and they didn't. They won't be at the front of Rob Page's mind when he picks his next squad.

"I still think he (Page) is hanging on because of the performance we had against Croatia which, in my opinion, was our best performance since Euro 2016.

"But there will be big questions being asked if we don't win [against Slovakia] on Sunday."

Nia Jones

"Context is important, we had some massive players missing which does make a difference," ex-Wales defender Jones said on BBC Radio Wales.

"But I think Rob Page has every right to be nervous. It wouldn't just be based on that Gibraltar result.

"I think what was annoying for me as a Welsh fan, a bit of a lack of desire and passion - as Welsh fans that's the absolute minimum we want to see.

"It was just not at the level we expect from any Welsh side, now that we do have these new-found expectations.

"I do think, Sunday, that friendly against Slovakia where they will put out a much stronger line-up, I think that is a must-win for Rob Page on a personal level."

Jones added: "I think now a little bit of impatience has grown with fans. We're seeing other nations going into the European Championship with top-level managers who tactically can find a way to win.

"I think that was really evident [against Gibraltar], on Wales' 13th or 14th corner when they're still trying the same delivery and same approach.

"I think that's what would have frustrated fans more than anything, how predictable we were and how we don't look at the dugout and see huge tactical experience in our manager."

Nathan Blake

"When you look on paper, you've drawn with Gibraltar, it's as simple as that," former Wales striker Blake said on BBC Match of the Day Wales.

"But cut Pagey some slack, the fact he's taken us to a World Cup and a Euros, he's not done bad.

"But at the end of the day, you can't rest on your laurels. People always want more, that's just the nature of football.

"You win today, people are asking you, 'what's your next task tomorrow?'."

Rubin Colwill shows his disappointment during the Gibraltar draw
Wales became the first team to fail to score against Gibraltar since Andorra in November 2022 [Getty Images]

Jayne Ludlow

"There's more pressure on the team now than there ever has been because people have expectations of the national teams," ex-Wales boss Ludlow said on BBC Match of the Day Wales.

"It'll be a disappointing one for him (Page) tonight. You could see his frustration as the game was going on.

"I think he would have expected more from those younger players as well because he knows how talented they are and he trusts them.

"But maybe not enough of them have taken that opportunity."

Owain Tudur Jones

Speaking on Sgorio, ex-Wales midfielder Jones said: "I think it's another reason for people who think Rob Page isn't the man to take Wales forward, it's another reason to add to that feeling.

"It's a massive disappointment, but we can't overreact.

"It's a friendly game at the end of a season, he's given caps to the new lads and experience for other lads.

"He's going to get judged on competitive games. He's not going to lose his job, but it just doesn't help and the pressure increases on him."