Ryan Giggs has won over Wales supporters, according to FAW CEO Jonathan Ford
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has won over sceptical fans by guiding them to Euro 2020, according to Football Association of Wales CEO Jonathan Ford.
Giggs' side beat Hungary 2-0 in Cardiff on Tuesday to secure automatic qualification to next year's finals, without the need to go through the play-offs.
That appeared an unlikely prospect after they lost consecutive away matches to Croatia and Hungary in June.
But after picking up 11 points for their final five qualifiers Wales have followed up their impressive run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 with qualification for another major finals.
"I'm delighted for Ryan," Ford told Sky Sports News. "Yes, there were one or two fans who were sceptical.
"In June, we lost away to Croatia, lost away to Hungary. We had a tough task ahead of us but full credit to him.
"I'm absolutely delighted. Groundbreaking for him, groundbreaking for us."
Gareth Bale may find himself in trouble with Real Madrid after posing with a Wales flag after Tuesday's game which read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order."
But Ford insisted he is an integral part of a united Wales team that have consistently punched above their weight in recent years.
Ford added: "Gareth is a fantastic player and we are delighted he is in the squad but credit must be given to all the squad members.
"One thing we do, we work very hard to ensure we get that patriotism and the team working together.
"Getting that is what was a success for us at Euro 2016 and you can see it in the locker room now.
"It's a brilliant team, they work so well and like being together and they do it for Wales."
The whole nation will now wait expectantly to see what teams await them when the draw for Euro 2020 is made in Bucharest on November 30.
"It's a delightful thing we've managed to qualify automatically, the first time round for Euro 2016 and again for Euro 2020," said Ford.
"We got there on our own merit and didn't need the play-off route, thankfully, and now the planning begins for 2020.
"Our job is to promote and develop football in this country and there is no better way to do that when your team has qualified.
"We wanted to make sure it wasn't a one-off and this isn't a purple patch. This is hopefully going to be something we see more and more often, hopefully with World Cups, whether that's 2022 or 2026.
"We are the smallest team that has qualified this time again and that is a fantastic accolade."