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Wales still have 'point to prove'

13 Oct 2013 18:31:53

Wales still have 'point to prove'

Manager Chris Coleman feels Wales can strike a blow for their future international aspirations by bringing World Cup-bound Belgium down to earth with a positive result in Brussels.

Wales head to the King Baudouin Stadium for what could be Coleman's last competitive fixture in charge of the Dragons, as talks over a contract extension have stalled, with hopes of their own collective progression as a squad dented following another frustrating qualifying campaign.

Victory over Macedonia in Cardiff on Friday at least moved Wales off the bottom of Group A, a point above Scotland, and Coleman would love to see hope for a brighter future on the back of another promising display against an impressive Belgian squad which includes Barclays Premier League talents such as Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, Kevin De Bruyne and Kevin Mirallas.

"Alright, there is nothing on it for them as it (World Cup qualifying) is done, but we still have a point to prove," said Coleman.

"We can't go there thinking, 'nobody expects anything from us' - we have to expect something from ourselves."

Coleman has looked to integrate the likes of Lloyd Isgrove, Declan John and 16-year-old Harry Wilson into the squad for their first taste of senior international football, a move which the former Fulham boss feels points to an increasingly bright future for Wales.

"When you see that performance (against Macedonia) from an inexperienced squad, then it is really pleasing," Coleman said, "but we will need that and more in Belgium if we are to do anything."

It was not that long ago Coleman seemed to have all but secured a new two-year deal with the Football Association of Wales, but September defeats to Macedonia and Serbia saw the contract put on hold until after the Group A campaign has been fully completed.

Coleman, who took over from the late Gary Speed in January 2012, accepts it was always going to be a big ask to make an impact among sides with so much more depth.

"There was a time where I thought we could have nicked third spot, but Belgium, Croatia and Serbia have been too strong for us," he said.


PA

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