Giggs defends decision to stand by Lawrence
Ryan Giggs has explained why he decided to select Tom Lawrence for Wales despite the Derby County forward being due in court on a drink-driving charge this month.
Lawrence was charged after a crash involving his Range Rover Sport. The 25-year-old is due to appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Oct 15 – two days after Wales play Croatia in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Cardiff.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Giggs, the Wales manager, said. “It was a case of speaking to everyone involved: my staff, the Football Association of Wales and Derby. I spoke to Phillip Cocu [Derby manager] to see what Derby’s stance was. It was a conversation to make sure we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.”
Lawrence missed Derby’s 3-2 Championship win over Birmingham on Saturday following the incident, in which team-mate Mason Bennett was also charged with drink-driving. But he started the 2-2 draw at Barnsley on Wednesday, when sections of both sets of supporters booed his name.
Derby have said there will be a “rigorous internal investigation” into the incident, and Cocu has suggested there will be a range of disciplinary actions taken against those involved.
“Tom is disappointed with his actions and he’s going to be punished [by Derby],” Giggs said. “I spoke to him and he was a bit down.
“He has that court date but in the meantime he will be able to get on with his career. It’s not going to be easy because he’ll be thinking about that. I’ll see how he trains and then make a decision on whether or not to start him.”