PEMBROKESHIRE star Joe Allen is looking forward to representing Wales in the knockout stages of the Euro Championships again after Robert Page's side secured second place in Group A on Sunday.

The 31 year-old Stoke City midfielder was a key player in helping Wales reach the semi-finals at Euro 2016 - and will represent his country again in the last sixteen of this year's competition against Denmark.

After their 2-0 midweek win over Turkey in Baku, Wales showed great resolve in a 1-0 defeat against Italy in Rome as they clung on with 10 men for a result which was enough to secure progress.

With Switzerland beating Turkey 3-1 in Group A's other fixture, their automatic qualification was under threat, but Wales withstood relentless Italian pressure to scrape through on goal difference.

Allen - a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych - picked up a yellow card, but can now look forward to a second-round match against Group B's runners-up in Amsterdam next Saturday.

"We know that everyone’s going to put a shift in and give absolutely everything to protect our own goal," said the former Swansea City and Liverpool midfielder on the Italy match.

“And with the likes of Gareth (Bale) and Aaron (Ramsay) linking up, along with the likes of Daniel James and Kieffer Moore, we feel that we’ve got all sorts of threats.

“We’ve got threats off the bench as well that bring different attributes, we feel we’ve got the ability to hurt teams, and we know we can rely on being solid defensively as well.”

Bale and Ramsey, who also played for Wales at Euro 2016, shone as Wales beat Turkey 2-0 on Wednesday evening to move within touching distance of the round of 16.

Ramsey opened the scoring in Baku and Bale atoned for his second-half penalty miss with two superb assists, setting up Connor Roberts in second half injury time to seal victory.

Allen said that he believes Bale and Ramsey have proven the critics wrong in “special fashion” so far at Euro 2020.

“When you’re world-class players like Gareth and Aaron the focus is always going to be on you," said Allen.

“I think some people probably had their narrative drawn up, but the pair of them were incredible the other night, and certainly answered the critics in special fashion.”

On Sunday, Matteo Pessina's goal gave Italy a 1-0 half-time lead, and Wales were forced to play the final half an hour a man down after Ethan Ampadu was sent off for a lunge on Federico Bernardeschi.

Wales dug deep to ensure the margin of victory was not too damaging, however, and they can now look forward to a second-round match against Group B's runners-up Denmark in Amsterdam on Saturday.