Aaron Ramsey believes Wales are strong enough to reach the final of Euro 2016, although the midfielder is “gutted” to be missing the semi-final against Portugal through suspension.
Ramsey’s second yellow card of the tournament, picked up for a handball in the 3-1 win over Belgium in Friday’s quarter-final, rules him out of Wednesday’s last-four clash in Lyon.
Defender Ben Davies will also miss the semi-final and Ramsey described his foul as a “natural reaction”, accepting he deserved to be booked for the offence.
“It was a sort of natural reaction and I knew straight away it was a yellow,” said the Arsenal player, who set up two of Wales’ three goals and has recorded four assists at the finals.
“I’m really gutted. I’m confident in the players we have to step in and get us to the final.”
Ramsey added that despite the fateful yellow card, he considers his individual performance against Belgium to be one of his finest.
“It was up there with the best performances of my career, especially on the stage that it was,” he said.
“I wanted to stand up and be counted, so I am delighted I was able to help my team and grab a couple of assists that meant we won quite comfortably in the end.
“Now we have to beat Portugal. I am sure it will sink in before then that I will not be playing – but I will be right behind my team, cheering them on and kicking every ball. I will be right in the mix of it, so hopefully they can do it.”
Wales defender James Chester added it is a “blow” for his side to be without Davies and Ramsey for the country’s first semi-final at a major international tournament.
“Obviously it is a blow because Ben and Aaron have started every game for us,” said West Brom centre-back Chester.
“Aaron has undoubtedly got amazing ability, but the amount of work he puts in sometimes gets overlooked, while I think Ben has been our stand-out defender in the tournament.
“The biggest thing we have in our squad now is strength in depth and players who are playing at the top level – so hopefully it will not hamper us too much.”
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