Ryan Giggs expects Neco Williams to bounce back from fierce social media abuse by flourishing with Wales.
Williams suffered an online backlash after Liverpool’s 7-2 Carabao Cup win at Lincoln and responded by blacking out the profile and background pictures on his Twitter account.
Liverpool number two Pep Lijnders said manager Jurgen Klopp, skipper Virgil Van Dijk and first-choice full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson had spoken to Williams after the Lincoln game to offer their support.
“All you can do is surround yourself with good people, educate yourself as much as you can when it comes to social media, and then it’s your choice whether you want to be a part of it or not,” Wales manager Giggs said ahead of Thursday’s friendly with England.
“I do sometimes think whether I would have been on social media (in his playing days), I’m not too sure. But it’s part and parcel of life now.
“He’s at Liverpool, when you are at a big club you are going to have to take criticism at some point if you set a certain standard and you drop below it. Even for 10 minutes.
“It’s something you have to deal with when you are at big clubs.”
Williams made enough appearances for Liverpool last season to earn a Premier League winners’ medal.
The 19-year-old made his Wales debut as a substitute in Finland last month and then came off the bench to score the Nations League winner against Bulgaria – his first goal in senior football.
He could now be in line to make his first Wales start against England on Thursday.
“Having just worked with Neco, he’s got a sensible head on his shoulders,” said Giggs.
“I’m looking forward to working with Neco again. He was great to work with and the qualities he showed in the games as well.”
Aaron Ramsey will miss the Wembley clash after his club Juventus put their players into a bio-secure ‘bubble’.
Two non-playing staff members at the Turin club tested positive for coronavirus and the whole team have gone into “fiduciary isolation”, which Juventus said means the players can “carry out regular training and match activities, but will not be allowed contact with (anyone) outside the group”.
Wales hope that Ramsey will be available for the following Nations League games away to the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.
“Aaron Ramsey is currently unable to join the squad until after the England match,” the Football Association of Wales posted on their Twitter account.
🏴 DIWEDDARIAD CARFAN 🏴
Hal Robson-Kanu has withdrawn from the squad due to injury – brysia wella Hal!
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) October 5, 2020
Ramsey’s absence is a further blow to manager Giggs, who has become used to being without the 29-year-old former Arsenal playmaker.
A succession of injuries has meant that Ramsey has only started once for Wales since the start of 2019, the decisive Euro 2020 qualifier when he scored twice in a 2-0 victory over Hungary.
Giggs has also lost West Brom striker Hal Robson-Kanu to injury for the October triple-header and was already without captain Gareth Bale.
Bale was allowed to train at Tottenham during the international break as he recovers from a knee injury picked up on international duty last month.
Williams, Daniel James and Harry Wilson missed training on Monday after joining the camp late, but the trio will be fit for the first England-Wales Wembley clash since 2011.