Wales wants fitting Speed tribute

Wales coach Osian Roberts says the squad are desperate to produce a performance to honour Gary Speed’s memory when they face Costa Rica in the game dedicated to their late manager tonight.

The Cardiff City Stadium clash marks the first time Wales have played since Speed died in November, and is set to be a hugely emotional occasion for those involved with the national side.

Roberts, who was brought into the Wales set-up by Speed, will be in charge tonight as new manager Chris Coleman takes a background role.

With regular captain Aaron Ramsey unable to play through injury, Craig Bellamy, who was particularly close to Speed, will lead the side.

And while Roberts admits the circumstances are difficult, he believes his players are desperate to put in an excellent performance to ensure Speed’s memory is honoured with a victory.

"The circumstances are difficult not just for Craig but for all the players," he said.

"But everybody is keen to get out there and perform to the best of their ability and put a performance on that’s worthy of the man himself.

"But we honestly don’t know how the players will react as the build-up to the game continues because we haven’t been in this situation before.

"We are trying to support them as best we can, they are hungry to go out there and continue the good work and build on the foundations he put in place.

"But we are going into the unknown and hopefully they can perform as they want to."

Bellamy, for whom this may be a 68th and final cap as his international future remains uncertain, will be joined by Ramsey and Speed’s sons Ed and Tom when the team take to the field, while Speed’s dad Roger will speak to the players in the dressing room.

There will also be a number of former Wales internationals present, as well as other sporting stars such as Joe Calzaghe.

"Certainly Ed and Tom will be walking out with both Aaron and Craig which will be great for them, so we are really pleased that that’s going to be the case," said Roberts.

"I have spoken to Roger, Gary’s father, several times and he wants to come in and wish the players all the best before kick off and thank the players.

"That will be nice to do and appropriate as well.

"So there’s difficult things to go through, some experiences that aren’t normal, but everyone’s there for each other and that’s the way to move forward."