Neco Williams: Wales boss defends allowing full-back to play on after 'blow to the head'

Neco Williams of Wales lies on the ground during the Group B match between Wales and England. Credit: PA

Wales manager Robert Page has defended the decision to allow Neco Williams to play on against England in Tuesday night's World Cup clash following a head injury.

A stinging drive from England's Marcus Rashford caught Williams flush on the head, with the Nottingham Forest full-back playing on for another 12 minutes before being replaced by Connor Roberts.

The fact Williams was initially allowed to play on was met with criticism by Headway, the brain injury association, who tweeted: “YET AGAIN medics are given no options! A temporary concussion rule would have not resulted in Neco Williams being left on the pitch after #concussion. How many more?! #ENGWAL."

Page said Williams had been allowed to continue after initially passing FIFA’s concussion test.

Page said: “Neco took a blow to the head, so there are protocols in place understandably with concussion. He passed the initial test.

“We followed the FIFA guidelines. The FIFA doctor OK’d him to stay on the pitch, but he was advised if there was any symptoms then to flag it up straight away, and that’s what he did.

“There was no second thoughts at all, he was off straightaway. We’ve covered all the protocols and the FIFA guidelines.”

Wales were knocked out of the World Cup on Tuesday night following a 3-0 defeat against England at the Ahmed Bin Ali stadium in Qatar.

England dominated possession throughout the match and claimed a straightforward three points with goals from Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden.

Wales Captain Gareth Bale said the team will leave the tournament "with their heads held high" after becoming the first Welsh team to qualify for the World Cup since 1958.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know