WALES manager Jayne Ludlow says victory over World Cup-bound New Zealand is a real “confidence-builder” for her side ahead of the start of their UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying campaign.

Kayleigh Green nodded in a stoppage-time winner at Cardiff’s Leckwith Stadium on Tuesday night to seal a 1-0 victory over the Football Ferns.

New Zealand, who are ranked 14 places above Wales in the world rankings, beat Phil Neville’s England on Saturday and are heading to the World Cup in France this week.

Ludlow’s team now have the summer off before they begin their next campaign in the Faroe Islands in August and the manager is delighted to have signed off with a win.

“It’s a confidence-builder and that’s a positive for us going into the next competition,” said the former Arsenal star.

“We stepped onto the pitch against a team who are going to the World Cup and we managed to beat them.

“That’s taking nothing away from them because they’re obviously preparing for the teams they’ve got coming up [at the World Cup].

“It was the test that we needed and if we look back two or three years ago to the game before our last competition it was a poor one and we had to change quite a lot of things.

“Now we’re in a different position as a group and we go into the next competition just building on what we know we can do well.”

Ludlow will also be relieved that her side ended a goal drought that stretched all the way back to their 3-0 victory over Russia in Newport in June 2018.

“It’s nice, more so for the playing group than us, if I’m honest,” she said.

“For us it’s about winning as many games as we possibly can and to do that you have to be hard to beat.

“Clean sheets are a priority for us and thankfully we got another one, and to score at the other end is a bonus.

“At times they caused they caused us problems and at times we created chances, which is always pleasing.

“And the intensity that we had in the final 10 minutes was the most pleasing thing, because we know we can change gear if we need to.

“If we’re still in a game, we know we can get the three points at the end of it.”

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Ludlow also expects her players to be in much better shape when they reconvene in August.

“Our squad is a mixed bag right now,” she admitted. “We have some players who are fighting fit after a really good season, some players are recovering from injuries and they’re not quite where they need to be and we’ve got players who are physically there but haven’t kicked enough footballs all season because they’ve been on the bench.

“Do I expect that to change by August? Yeah, I think we’ll have a better conditioned group and I’m really looking forward to getting them back for the next camp.

“We were missing players but they rose to the challenge and that’s all we can ask for as coaches.”

The Wales boss was also delighted to see a crowd of 2,011 for a friendly on a damp and breezy night in the capital.

“It was great,” said Ludlow.

“Two years ago we wouldn’t have had anywhere near that crowd on a rainy Tuesday evening so it’s positive.

"Hopefully we’re keeping the fans who have been coming over the past few years and now we're gaining some new ones.”

Read more: Wales 1 New Zealand 0 match report from Cardiff