DAVID Brooks admit­ted his deci­sion to join Saints aid­ed his Wales selec­tion chances after they beat Fin­land 4–1 to set up a Euro 2024 qual­i­fy­ing play­off final against Poland.

The 26 year old set his coun­try on course for a vital vic­to­ry in Cardiff when he pounced on Har­ry Wilson’s par­ried effort to put Wales ahead on three min­utes.

He then set up Bren­nan John­son for Wales’ third goal right after half­time, although his assist looked more like a miss-hit shot than an attempt­ed lay­off. 

Brooks has now pro­vid­ed 10 goal con­tri­bu­tions (four goals and six assists) in his last 10 games for club and coun­try.

“It’s a very good start to the camp,” he admit­ted. “We want­ed to get into the final and qual­i­fy for the Euros so this is a very good step.

“We have anoth­er very big game on Tues­day so now it’s about get­ting right for that game. I want to get goals and assists — I should have had a sec­ond goal rather than the assist.

“But I can’t real­ly com­plain because it was a good team per­for­mance and we are through to the final.”

Brooks was some­what of a sur­prise selec­tion in Wales’ start­ing line­up on Tues­day evening as man­ag­er Rob Page elect­ed to go for pace rather than pow­er. 

He lined up along­side John­son and Wil­son in a flu­id front three as Dan James and Kief­fer Moore, who were expect­ed to start, began on the bench. 

Daily Echo: David Brooks put Wales ahead on three minutes in CardiffDavid Brooks put Wales ahead on three min­utes in Cardiff (Image: PA)

Brooks’ 60-minute per­for­mance vin­di­cat­ed Page’s selec­tion. In addi­tion to notch­ing his fourth inter­na­tion­al goal, the Saints loa­nee posed a con­stant threat to the Fin­ish back line.

Despite get­ting the nod ahead of his pro­mo­tion rivals, Brooks insist­ed he would have been hap­py to pro­vide an impact from the bench. 

He explained: “(I knew) one or two days before. At club lev­el, we are all doing our best to try and get into the start­ing line­up.

READ MORE: Brooks hop­ing to beat Southamp­ton team­mate to Euros with Wales

“To be hon­est, if it had been any­one else I couldn’t com­plain because all the for­ward lads have been in good form. 

“I was thank­ful to get the nod and thank­ful­ly I could repay him (Rob Page) with a goal and an assist. This was one of the big rea­sons why I want­ed to come out on loan.

“If I was still at Bournemouth and play­ing 10 min­utes at the end of games I might not have got the nod. It’s been a good deci­sion for me.”

The reward for Wales is a home play­off final against Poland on March 26, with the win­ner going on to Group D at Euro 2024. 

Tues­day night’s fix­ture against Michal Probierz’s side will see Southampton’s num­ber 36 take on team­mate Jan Bednarek. 

“They (Poland) are a good team with good play­ers, but we are also a good team with good play­ers,” Brooks con­clud­ed.

“They’ll be look­ing at us as a big threat as well. We will look at clips and start putting togeth­er the game plan for Tues­day. 

“Every­one in there wants to play at the Euros again. We are all pulling in the same direc­tion.”