Wales boss Coleman ‘not thinking about future’

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Heartbreak for Wales – where did it all go wrong?

A group of senior Wales players has urged Chris Coleman to stay on as manager after his contract ends in the summer of 2018.

Coleman saw his dream of taking them to the World Cup in Russia end with their 1-0 defeat by Republic of Ireland.

Afterwards he said he was “not thinking about” his future, having previously said this would be his last campaign.

Since Monday’s defeat, leading players, including Gareth Bale have asked Coleman to remain in the role.

Defender Chris Gunter also expressed his hope that Coleman would stay in charge.

“I think everyone in Wales, fans and players, would want to see him stay on, 100%,” said the Reading player.

“He’s been a massive part of what we’ve done and he is the man to hopefully take us forward.

“If the powers that be can give him a really good contract and make him stay, he can carry on being the greatest Welsh manager of all time.”

Coleman, 47, had previously said this campaign would be his last in charge.

Chris Coleman<!–

Chris Coleman historically guided Wales into the Euro 2016 semi-finals

After seeing his side bow out of World Cup contention, he said: “The whole nation will be mourning and disappointed.

“Again that elusive World Cup has passed us by.”

Asked about his own future, the former Fulham boss added: “I’m genuinely not thinking about it.

“There’s a dressing room full of devastated players and staff.

“If you look at the make-up of our squad and the age of the squad – some of the young ones coming through – this is a good group of players, even better for tonight.

“Defeat hurts but you learn a lot from defeat – you learn about yourself first and foremost.”

Wales needed to beat the Republic of Ireland in order to reach the World Cup play-offs, but it is Martin O’Neill’s side who will contest those fixtures in November after James McClean’s goal gave them victory in Cardiff.

Meanwhile Wales are lining up a friendly, with Mexico or the United States possible opponents.

Republic delivered a crushing end to the campaign for Wales, whose last appearance at a World Cup was in 1958.

Coleman, who was appointed in 2012 and led his country to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, has a contract with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) until next summer.

“There’s a chance I can [stay] and a chance I won’t. I can’t give an answer right now,” he added after what was Wales’ first loss since the 2-0 defeat by Portugal in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“It’s not just a matter of signing a new contract. The FAW has been great with me – I asked them to leave me alone as my contract has been running down and all the questions were getting asked.

“I wanted to concentrate on getting results. There’ll be a conversation in due course, there’s a friendly next month.

“My contract is until the summer but, right now, I’m thinking about the experience. I’ll go back to my family and take a bit of time. When the dust settles we’ll see where we go.”

Analysis – ‘I think he will walk away’

Former Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live

Only Chris Coleman can answer the question over his own future. Personally, I think he will walk away now.

I do not think he will be short of offers. I think he will be lined up for a big job, if that is what he wants.

The Welsh players will be extremely, extremely down. Wales had to win their last four games – they won three and just came up a little short tonight.

Wales were not quite inventive and creative enough around the Irish penalty area tonight.

The Irish were outstanding defensively.

The Group<!–

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