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Simon so close

Posted on 3 April 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Simon Davies is so close to qualifying for Euro 2004 he can almost feel it - he admits it would be devastating for Wales to miss out on a first major final appearance since 1958.

Our midfield prodigy helped stretch Wales' perfect start in Group Nine to four wins in four with Saturday's 4-0 demolition of Azerbaijan.

They are now five points clear at the top of the group having played the same amount of games as Italy in second place.

You feel Simon and the Welsh squad know they are on the brink of history - a first major finals since Spurs legend Cliff Jones helped take them to the World Cup Finals in 1958, where they performed heroically against Pele's Brazil, the eventual winners.

"We're still taking it one game at a time but we'll all be very disappointed if we don't make it now," admitted Simon, the current Welsh and Spurs Player of the Year.

"We've got two home games now and if we can nick a point in one of our away games as well that could put us there."

Simon is well aware of his country's history and the great players - in modern times the likes of Hughes, Rush and Southall - who haven't played on football's major finals' stage.

"I remember watching all the great players who have played for Wales over the years who haven't made these finals and it was always the same, 'nearly good enough but not quite' and to get into this position with this team is a great feeling," he said.

"One of things Mark Hughes said before Saturday is that the fans have been let down too many times already.

"People like himself and other great players haven't been to finals and with the position we're in, we'd be too hurt not to get there now. He told us to take that out with us on Saturday and we did."

Simon filled in as emergency right-back in Saturday's win in front of a packed out 72,500 crowd in the Millennium Stadium.

"That shows how far we've come, it says it all," he added. "We sold out the Millennium Stadium in 24 hours.

"That inspires us - you walk out and you daren't let them down. We're confident with the way we're playing, we trust each other and if we keep believing and keep working hard we'll have a chance."