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By ESPN Staff

Wales' Toshack seeks point 'by hook or by crook'

Wales manager John Toshack has called on his squad to repeat the heroics which earned them a shock draw in Germany last year when they face Russia in a vital World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Toshack's side produced a surprise by holding the Germans - who would go on to reach the final of Euro 2008 - to a goalless draw in their final qualifier.

That result has given Toshack belief another minor miracle could be on the cards in Moscow.

The trip to the Russian capital is a daunting one, certainly for a side now robbed of established defenders James Collins, Danny Gabbidon and Lewin Nyatanga, who all played in that Frankfurt draw last November.

The task has not been made any easier by the shock retirement from international football of Cardiff's Paul Parry, who would have played in Moscow, and midfield schemer Jason Koumas, with more ankle problems.

Toshack said: ''The game in Moscow would be perfect for Gabbidon, Collins and Nyatanga, but they are not with us because of injury and we will have to set up our team differently.

''We won't play with two strikers, that's for sure. It will not be the same team, there will be different people in the side for this one.

''But we feel a lot better about the trip now we have three points from Saturday's win over Azerbaijan. We will try to play as well as we did in the last Euro 2008 qualifier in Frankfurt when we got a fully-deserved 0-0 draw.''

He added: ''We know we must try to get something from tough opposition. The aim, somehow by hook or by crook, is to qualify.

''It will be the Russians' first game in this group and we know how good they are. We saw their strengths in the European Championships (where they reached the semi-finals), but we go into the game in a good frame of mind and I will want a performance similar to the one we produced in Frankfurt.

''We will want to give a good performance and do our very best to get a good result.

''It will be a tough game but it will tell us a lot more about some of our younger players.''

Wales have not called up a replacement for Parry, who stunned the camp by telling Toshack he felt he should have been used more in the game against Azerbaijan, and was therefore going to quit playing for his country.


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