01 March 2020

Wales manager Ludlow praises Chelsea's Ingle as 'one of the best in the world'

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow praised Chelsea midfielder Sophie Ingle as a 'top-level performer' after she helped the Blues on their way to a first League Cup triumph in the club's history.

Beth England scored a dramatic late winner as Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 to claim the FA Continental Cup on Saturday.

And Ludlow, who coaches Ingle at national level, was full of praise for her international star.

"She has great ability levels," she said. "Sophie is an unassuming person.

"She's not very loud, she doesn't share things as much as others, she's just very calm, calculated and very knowledgeable in what she does.

"She's at a point where she believes in herself too and performances are coming out regularly at the top level."

Ingle has played 98 times for Wales and will be an integral part of Ludlow's plans as they bid to qualify for the 2021 European Championships.

"She's a top-level performer and it doesn't surprise me Emma (Hayes, Chelsea manager) is praising her," she added.

"We had discussions before she went to Chelsea about where I saw her, her performance levels for Wales, and she ended up going there and progressed phenomenally due to the coaching support they have, all the professional things they put in place.

"Soph is working extremely hard to show to everybody that she's one of the best players in the world in the position she plays in.

"If that leads to other opportunities for her, I'm thankful for that, but I do hope she shows those levels every time she puts a Welsh shirt on because she's our leader, she inspires all those around her through her performance levels and how she behaves."

Wales are currently second in their qualification group, five points ahead of Belarus in third but four points behind Norway who sit top.

The winners of each group move on to the finals automatically, while the three best runners-up also advance.

The other second place teams will have to enter into a play-off style mini-tournament to secure their place at Euro 2021 which is being hosted by England.

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