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Wales will relish pressure against Republic of Ireland – Coleman

Tom Lawrence celebrates with David Edwards

Tom Lawrence’s first international goal came at a crucial time in Wales’ World Cup qualifying campaign

Wales are relishing Monday’s World Cup qualifying decider against the Republic of Ireland and will go all out for victory, says manager Chris Coleman.

Tom Lawrence earned Wales a 1-0 win in Georgia on Friday to keep them in contention for automatic qualification from Group D.

Wales, unbeaten in qualifying, need only a point in Cardiff to guarantee second spot, and could top the group.

“It will be a sensational atmosphere – we welcome the pressure,” said Coleman.

Group leaders Serbia missed the chance to secure their place at the World Cup in Russia as they conceded in the last minute to lose 3-2 in Austria.

The Republic maintained their hopes with a 2-0 win over Moldova in Dublin.

Group D table<!–

Serbia are a point clear at the top and will qualify automatically if they beat Georgia.

However, if they lose, the winners of the Wales-Republic match will qualify, while a draw could send Wales through on goal difference.

From the nine European qualifying groups, the eight second-placed teams with the best records will advance to November’s two-legged play-offs.

Wales are currently ranked fifth in those standings as they aim to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

“These are the games you want to be involved in,” said Coleman, whose side have won three matches in a row after five successive draws left them on the brink of elimination.

“Ireland will come to party. They won’t fear us, they won’t be afraid. They’ll come to us and expect to get a result and we’ll be up against it.

“We’re on dangerous ground if we go in with a gameplan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes. We are too good to do that.”

Speaking before Serbia’s surprise defeat in Austria maintained Wales’ chances of topping the group, Coleman said: “We will go and attack, go and score goals.

“We have to do that – it’s our strength. A point would be OK but we’ll go for three points.

“That’s the way it’s set up; it’ll be such a good game. We’ll look to score goals and make sure we get over the line.”

Republic manager Martin O’Neill was similarly buoyant about his side’s prospects.

“I just remember that we went to Lille having to win to get into the last 16 [against Italy at Euro 2016] and we did it, so let’s go for this,” he said.

“We know what we have to do now. We have to win a game in Cardiff.”

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Daryl Murphy scored both goals as the Republic of Ireland beat Moldova 2-0

Doing the business without Bale

Wales’ win in Georgia – their first in five attempts against those opponents – was their first since 2013 without their talisman, Gareth Bale.

They had not won a qualifier away from home without the Real Madrid forward since a 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan in 2009.

“People say we haven’t won without Bale or won two games on the trot,” said Coleman.

“But the past four years have not just been about Gareth Bale. He’s super important to us but we haven’t had him, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey all the time.

“Three times since [the Euro 2016 quarter-final] we’ve had them all on the pitch. That’s international football.

“Our team got on with the job, got over the line and we’re still in with a shout. We have a job to do and we have to get on with it.”

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Joe Allen: Wales have momentum for Republic showdown

Lawrence showed ‘courage, intelligence, maturity’

Lawrence’s long-range strike on only his ninth international appearance followed Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn’s stunning goal to beat Austria.

“It was all about Tom – he was fantastic,” said Coleman. “I am absolutely thrilled for him. The goal was sensational and he deserves that.

“He did a really good job for us against Austria in a very tough game. He came off the pitch, Ben Woodburn went on and scored a famous goal.

“Then we went to Moldova and Tom did a job for us there. He came off the pitch again and Ben went on, crossed the ball and set up the goal. There was nothing against Tom; he has done good work for us.

“His job was with possession and without possession and he absolutely nailed it. He showed courage and intelligence, and he showed great maturity.”

No yellow peril for Republic match

None of the seven players in the Wales side on a booking picked up a caution, meaning Wales will be free of suspension for the Ireland match.

Coleman said: “We were composed when we needed to be. We started with a bite about us in possession, so for the lads who were on yellows to come out with no further damage was a big plus.

“Obviously it is all about the three points, but to come through with no yellows ticked another box.”

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