DAN JAMES has the dual mission of keeping Leeds in the Premier League and leading Wales to the World Cup in Qatar.
The £25m forward faces Norwich at Elland Road today, with the Yorkshire club losing their last six games to place him firmly in the relegation battle.
then James will lead Wales forward alongside Gareth Bale in a play-off semi-final on March 24 in a bid to take the next step towards reaching the global finals – a feat the Dragons have not accomplished since 1958.
James said: “It would be very good. Just focus on that at the moment leeds but in the back of our minds we have these massive games ahead of us. Games everyone looks forward to.
“The whole country will be behind us like at the European Championship. It will be a tough game and we have to prepare properly.”
“I’m really looking forward to Austria. As soon as the tickets came out, it was sold out. It’s massive for the country, for us and after the European Championship we just want to get into another competition like this.
“For us it would be a huge achievement for the whole country to be at the World Cup and we believe in ourselves.”
James, 24, has become a regular at the Prem since leaving Manchester United last August and has made 27 appearances for Leeds.
The 30-cap Welsh star has complemented his game by being sidelined as a forward with Patrick Bamford for extended periods through injury and he may need to fill a similar role for his country if Kieffer Moore is out with a broken foot.
James told S4C’s Sgorio program: “I thought I wouldn’t play there that much. Due to injuries I had to do that. I enjoyed it.
“When I’m playing wide, it’s helped me knowing what positions I want to be in as a nine, when to let go of the ball, what times the striker wants the ball, whether to get stuck up front or back.
“It was a big learning curve and it was good. Going with Wales will definitely help me.
“It’s very unfortunate that Kieffer is out, but we have a lot of players who can step in and do well.
“Everyone who got into the squad always did well.
“As a squad we are a big family group and we believe in ourselves to get to the World Cup.
“I’m at that age now, where can I go and improve? And that’s by playing games at the highest level. As a player, you always want consistency in games and that was a big reason why I came here .
“I absolutely love it. It’s over so quickly because I’m enjoying it so much.”
I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO
Injury aside, James will be called up in Robert Page’s squad for Wales for Wednesday’s Crunch semi-final in Cardiff, a week from Thursday, with another home game against Scotland or Ukraine on the agenda for the Dragons in June game stands.
James said: “Going into the game against Belgium we always had in mind that we were going to get the playoffs, but it was important to get the point so that we have this home game.
“We have that advantage but we know Austria are a great team so we’re looking forward to it.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17931190/leeds-dan-james-wales-world-cup/ Leeds star Dan James on mission to keep the Whites in the Prem AND help Wales reach the World Cup