Gary Speed targets Brazil 2014 after landing Wales job

New Wales manager Gary Speed believes his players will be in a "no-lose" position when they resume their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign against England in March.

The Millennium Stadium clash will be Speed's second game in charge of Wales following a Carling Nations Cup clash with the Republic of Ireland on 8 February. Although Wales currently prop up Group G, ten points behind leaders Montenegro after suffering three successive defeats, Speed has no intention of throwing in the towel.

The 41-year-old, yesterday confirmed as John Toshack's full-time successor, admits qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is "a big target".

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But Flintshire-born Speed, who won 85 caps during a 14-year international career, wants his players to make an impression from the outset of his reign.

"We want to consistently compete on an international basis," said Speed, who quit his role as Sheffield United manager after just three months in charge. "Results in the group so far haven't been as good as we would have wanted, but, in a way, that gives us a good chance to start again and wipe the slate clean.

"We haven't had the best start to the group, and all the pressure will be on England. It's a no-lose situation and it is something which could really kickstart us.

"It's up to me to impress on the players how much enjoyment they can get out of playing for Wales. When you are playing well for Wales, and the team is playing well, there is no greater feeling. What we haven't done over the last four or five years is beat anyone of stature, beat anyone who we weren't supposed to. In this (Euro 2012] qualifying campaign, can we get into fourth spot, then third spot? It's targets all the way. And if we win the next five games, you never know what might happen."

Speed was only linked with the Wales post in recent days. Brian Flynn, who had been handed caretaker control for Euro 2012 defeats against Bulgaria and Switzerland in October; Chris Coleman; John Hartson; and ex-Sweden manager Lans Lagerback reportedly comprised the Football Association of Wales' shortlist until Speed became available.

After being given permission by the Blades to open talks, Speed's appointment was yesterday confirmed by the 28-strong FAW Council. It had, as he readily admitted, been a whirlwind couple of days. "It's something that is very difficult to turn down when your country comes calling," he added. "I'm a very proud man at this moment to be asked to be the manager of Wales.

"I was disappointed to leave Sheffield United because I feel I had a job to do there and was fully committed, but obviously when your country comes calling it's a tough decision you have to make. I feel in my heart it's the right one. To be fair to them, they've been fantastic throughout and made the decision really easy for me.I would like to thank Sheffield United for the opportunity I've been given there."

The Blades have put Speed's former assistant John Carver in temporary charge.