Wales legend's Dan James 'look after your own' verdict after Leeds United man's penalty miss

Leeds United's Dan James missed the decisive penalty as Wales failed to qualify for Euro 2024
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Wales must rally around Dan James following his penalty miss on Tuesday night, says Welsh legend John Hartson. The Leeds United man was selected to take the decisive spotkick in Wales' Euro 2024 qualifying play-off final clash with Poland at the Cardiff City Stadium

With Poland scoring their previous five efforts, James knew he needed to score in order to keep the Dragons' hopes of reaching the upcoming tournament in Germany alive. But, it was his penalty that Wojciech Szczesny stood firm to save and that was enough to see Rob Page's side will be staying at home this summer.

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It was heartbreak for the Wales players, who could be seen consoling the winger on the field while the Poland team celebrated with the travelling fans inside the stadium. John Hartson has urged supporters to do the same and support James rather than criticise him, with the ex-Arsenal and Celtic striker taking to social media after the game.

"Heartache for Wales," he wrote on X. "Dan James was brave enough to step up to take a penalty.. the boy will be devastated, he needs to be looked after now not thrown to the lions. Look after your own.”

James, who scored in the play-off semi-final against Finland, could count himself unfortunate not to start the game against Poland, but he emerged off the bench in the 70th minute, replacing Tottenham's Brennan Johnson, to play alongside his Leeds teammates Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon and Connor Roberts, with the latter being replaced towards the end of regular time. The winger was the only one of Leeds' Wales contingent to take a penalty.

The quartet will have to move on quickly as their focus turns back to the Championship promotion race and, assuming they are able to, they are all expected to play for the Whites on Friday night at Watford.

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