Welshman Kieffer Moore vows to adapt his game after being banned from Belarus game
Welsh striker Kieffer Moore is planning to change his game after being excluded from next month’s World Cup qualifying game against Belarus by suspension.
The 6-foot-5 forward scored a debut goal in Estonia on Monday to keep Wales in the race for a place in the World Cup qualifiers.
But Moore subsequently got a second warning in qualifying after challenging a high ball, meaning he will miss Belarus’s game in Cardiff on November 13.
It was a familiar story for Moore, who has apparently become an easy target for international referees and was urged by Welsh captain Gareth Bale at Euro 2020 this summer to jump in to his side.
“I’m super conscious every time I go on an aerial challenge and lead it,” Moore said.
“I just put my body into it and I’m mentally trying not to overdo it. It takes some getting used to.
“In internationals, the referees never really give you too much leeway. It’s about adapting to that.
Cardiff striker Moore has become a central part of Wales’ game since his debut in September 2019.
Moore’s arrival at close range was his seventh international goal, the most of any Welsh player since his debut, and his aerial ability acts as the perfect foil for Bale, Daniel James and others.
But Moore, who was even penalized when a second-half clash in Tallinn left him bleeding, says he’s often baffled by referees’ decisions.
When asked what his second-half caution was for, Moore replied, “I couldn’t tell you. I put my arms side by side. It would be necessary to ask at ref.
“I know they will have words on the side when these challenges arise.
“It’s frustrating. It’s not ideal but it’s up to me to adapt and not put myself in these situations.
“But I’ve scored goals everywhere I’ve been and I’m still confident to replicate that.
“I’m putting myself in good positions and there are great players around me. They give me these opportunities to score.
Wales boss Robert Page believes Moore is not getting a fair deal from the referees.
“He’s prone to getting reservations, and he doesn’t get a lot of protection sometimes,” Page said.
“When Kieffer has three big crosses on him, he also needs a little protection.
“You can’t jump without using your arms, and unless the umpires have played at any level and understand the mechanics of how you jump, it’s difficult.
“It’s frustrating and I’m disappointed we don’t have it for (Belarus) in November.”
Wales probably need four points in their last two home games against Belarus and Belgium to propel the Czech Republic to second in Group E.
The Czechs, who are tied on points with Wales, finish at home against Estonia and have a higher goal difference and have scored more goals than the Dragons – the first two deciding factors in a tie.
“We’re just delighted to finish with two home games,” said Page, whose side are almost certainly guaranteed a play-off berth due to their success in the Nations League.
“It will be great to have a full house next month. Two cup finals and we’ll be ready.