Leeds United man hailed for bravery after 'horrible experience' as Whites quartet lick wounds

Leeds United winger Daniel James has been praised for his 'bravery' despite missing Wales' decisive spot-kick in a 5-4 penalty shootout defeat by Poland on Tuesday night.
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Wales' Euro 2024 hopes were dashed at the Cardiff City Stadium as Leeds winger James failed to convert from 12 yards after a goalless draw and nine faultless penalties. Wojciech Szczesny's save meant Poland booked their place at this summer's tournament in Germany, alongside France, Netherlands and Austria in the group stage.

As a consequence, Wales miss out on their first European Championships since 2012, leaving Leeds quartet Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts and James to lick their wounds ahead of a return to domestic action.

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Despite James' role in Wales' play-off exit, head coach Rob Page commended the 26-year-old who stepped up to take the all-important penalty kick.

“We will rally round ‘Deej’. He had the bravery to take that penalty," Page told S4C.

“I am just so proud of that group and the nation should be proud of them. They have put a shift and some in tonight to try to get us there.

“We will be bigger and stronger for going through this horrible experience. We are going somewhere. There is something good happening with this group.

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“They are so disappointed but they are hungry for it. We were nearly there, one kick away. There is a lot more to come.”

Leeds return to Championship action in two days away at Watford but will sweat on the fitness of on-loan full-back Roberts who was substituted in the 84th minute of Wales' stalemate with Poland last night through injury.

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