By Jonty Banks

25th Nov, 2022 | 12:10pm

BBC commentator praises Dan James for terrific work rate in cameo v Iran

Leeds United winger Dan James has been praised by Danny Gabbidon for his terrific work rate after coming off the bench in Wales’ World Cup defeat against Iran.

Wales entered the crunch match on the back of a 1-1 draw against the USA and were searching desperately for three points to help their chances of qualification from Group B.

However, it was Iran who dominated large portions of the second half and caught the Welsh midfield napping on several occasions, resulting in the introduction of James from the bench.

Speaking as co-commentator on BBC One’s live coverage of the match, former Welsh international Danny Gabbidon lauded the 25-year-old’s efforts to track back as Wales were hit on the counterattack and outnumbered in defence.

He said: “Excellent recovery, excellent tracking back by Daniel James.” [11:24 am]

Energetic

Although James struggled to impose himself on Wales’ opening match against the U.S. while playing as a centre forward, his ability to impact the game from the bench has never been doubted.

The energy he brings from the bench was much needed for Wales in the second 45, with Iran running riot and troubling the Welsh back-line on a regular basis.

The consistent pressure he applies and pace tracking back is a coaches dream, and Robert Page will be thrilled at the work James got through after coming on.

In this case, the Welsh back line were exposed after Ethan Ampadu left a gaping hole in the midfield for Iran to pierce through.

Unfortunately, the Welsh winger often drifts into obscurity during crucial fixtures, and once again, he was often left isolated and struggled to get on the ball as often as he would like.

A starting position against England is very unlikely after a poor World Cup campaign thus far.

In other news, Pundit View: Exit-linked Leeds ace could wait for Jesse Marsch to be sacked for Elland Rd U-turn.