'I just thought 'forget about it' and got on with the job'
Tue 05 July 2016, 19:30|Tottenham Hotspur
No tears. No fuss. Ben Davies found himself at an emotional crossroads in the biggest game of his career but dealt with it as all Spurs fans knew he would, helping Wales make history along the way.
The defender was shown a yellow card in only the fifth minute of Wales’ European Championship quarter-final against Belgium on Friday, meaning he’d miss a potential semi-final through suspension.
Eighty-five minutes later, he was celebrating the biggest win in his country’s history as Wales came from 1-0 down to beat Belgium 3-1 in Lille to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time.
He admits the scale of the victory only hit the players when they returned to the dressing room - and that’s when it hit him as well that he would be sitting it out against Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday night (8pm UK).
“I didn’t dwell on it too much at the time,” Ben told us exclusively after the squad travelled from their base in Dinard to Lyon this afternoon.
“My full focus was on trying to win the game and getting through to the next round.
“It’s obviously disappointing not to be involved now and two yellows in five games seems a bit harsh but I have to take it. That’s football. That’s life. Hopefully the lads will do the job.”
Below: Ben looks around Stade de Lyon with Sam Vokes this afternoon ahead of Wales' semi-final against Portugal
Ben’s display for the rest of that match against Belgium, knowing his fate, has won plenty of plaudits. “That’s nice to hear,” he said. “It’s not something I’ve thought too much about, to be honest. For me, it was about doing my job as I should whether or not I was in that situation.”
Did he feel distraught when the card went up? “I know what you are saying but I just thought ‘forget about it’ and got on with the job. You have to be mentally strong and wipe these things out.”
But was there a moment later when it sunk in that he’d be missing out? “Yes, I suppose. There was a thought in my mind that I’d miss the next game but getting the team to the semi-final made up for it.”
Look out for more from Ben on Wales’ amazing journey in a Big Interview tomorrow...