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Coleman not expecting quick answer

16 Oct 2013 08:46:54

Coleman not expecting quick answer

Chris Coleman does not expect his future to be decided for at least another month, despite seeing his injury-hit Wales side end a disappointing World Cup qualifying with a superb 1-1 draw in Belgium.

Aaron Ramsey struck a late equaliser to stun the Group A winners in Brussels and boost Coleman's hopes of keeping his job.

Wales had shown brave resistance, with keeper Wayne Hennessey making a string of sharp saves, but they looked to be subsiding to a seventh defeat of the campaign when Kevin De Bruyne seized on an error from debutant James Wilson to fire Belgium ahead.

But skipper Ramsey was picked out by Craig Bellamy, on his 78th and final Wales appearance, and slid the ball under Thibaut Courtois to earn the visitors a hard-earned point.

This could prove to be Coleman's last competitive game in charge of Wales, with his contract effectively up after next month's friendly against Finland and talks over a new deal having stalled.

He has certainly given Football Association of Wales chiefs plenty of food for thought by beating Macedonia and earning a point in Belgium with a squad ravaged by injury and missing the likes of Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and Ashley Williams.

But Scotland's win over Croatia means Wales finish a lowly fifth in Group A, and the FAW will have to decide whether some fleeting moments of promise merit another chance for the 43-year-old.

However, Coleman does not see there being an instant resolution, but will not give up the role lightly.

He said: "If I had lost these two games, I wouldn't have been expecting to have been told I wasn't the man to take us forward.

"Equally, two great results does not mean I expect to be told I am the man to take us forward.

"I'm the same manager as I was last month. I never plan differently but, ultimately, it's about results.

"My contract ends in November and we have a friendly against Finland next month and we will talk about it then.

"I just wanted our players to end the campaign strongly and we have finished in the right manner.

"It's not something you give up lightly, being manager of your country."

Coleman was rightly proud of his players, on a night when 16-year-old Liverpool winger Harry Wilson became the youngest player to ever represent the Dragons, and Cheltenham's Wilson also made his international bow.

But he reserved particular praise for the exceptional Ramsey and Cardiff veteran Bellamy as the latter brought the curtain down after 15 years as a Wales player.

"It was an ideal way for Craig to sign off," he said.

"That's twice in four days he has played that last pass for us to score a goal and I am pleased for Aaron too, his contribution to this camp has been immense.

"You always look at Aaron even when we are at full strength because of the quality he has got. With all the players we were missing there was even more pressure on him and he stepped up to the plate and was absolutely fantastic."

He added: "We were up against the best team by far in our group. They are a magnificent team.

"We lost James Collins with injury and had to replace him with James Wilson.

"James is playing for Cheltenham, and at the same time Belgium were bringing on Eden Hazard who plays for Chelsea. That shows the strength in depth they have. They are a top quality side, and they deserved to win the group.

"But I thought our mentality was great, even though we had to ride our luck a bit at times and they could have scored more goals. We never gave up, we kept going and nicked a point at the end.

"I am really pleased for the players and supporters."

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was not unduly concerned by his side's failure to secure the three points, having already booked their place in Brazil, but admitted his side's profligacy in front of goal had been costly.

He said: We had many, many chances in this game, at least 12 and we only took one of them.

"It was disappointing Wales were able to equalise but we can be happy as we have qualified, our fans enjoyed the celebrations tonight and I want to thank everyone connected with this team for the work they have done over the 10 games."


PA

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