Tyler Roberts ‘grateful’ after making Wales squad for Euros despite Covid breach
The Leeds striker missed the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in March.
Leeds striker Tyler Roberts feared his Euro 2020 dream was over after he was thrown out of the Wales squad two months ago for breaching Covid-19 protocols.
Roberts was sent home alongside Hal Robson-Kanu and Rabbi Matondo ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifying victory against the Czech Republic in March.
But, unlike his two team-mates, Roberts – who apologised at the time for his actions – was named in Wales’ 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championships on Sunday.
Asked whether he feared for his Euros spot following his Covid-19 breach, Roberts said: “Yes, definitely. It was obviously a mistake that I made and I was thinking straight away about the Euros.
“I made a mistake and owned up to it. We’ve had conversations internally about it and it was good to chat with the gaffer (Robert Page).
“When you make a mistake it’s a hard conversation to have. You have to be a man and own up to it.
“It was a learning curve and I’m just grateful not to have been in a worse situation.
“We’ve cleared the air and it’s in the past, I’m looking to move on now and get my head down.
“I’m just grateful that I’ve been selected and the next thing is to make an impact and do well.”
Robson-Kanu, scorer of one of the greatest goals in Welsh football history when Chris Coleman’s side beat Belgium in a Euro 2016 quarter-final, did not make the pre-Euros training camp in Portugal last week.
Schalke winger Matondo also failed to make Page’s final party after travelling to Portugal.
“Rabbi was here, he was all OK,” Roberts said about his teammates missing out on Euro 2020 selection.
“He’s disappointed not to be going but he’s the type who will go back to his club, work hard and try and push to be in the next camp.
“When I found out I was in the squad it was an extremely proud moment. It was a very emotional time.
“I called my family straight away and let them know, it’s been a great 24 hours.”
Wales line up against Italy, Switzerland and Turkey in Group A at Euro 2020 and Roberts said: “Our ranking is quite high now compared to what it was.
“But I’d definitely say we are underdogs. That’s great because we are confident we can go there and look to win.”