‘Forget about excuses’ says Chris Coleman as Welsh size up Serbia
Wales manager Chris Coleman has told his players they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves as they look to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.
The Welsh, who are in Group A alongside Scotland, got off to a losing start as they went down 2-0 to favourites Belgium at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night.
The home side made a solid start against their heavily-fancied opponents, but the 25th-minute sending off of defender James Collins for a reckless lunge on Guillaume Gillet scuppered their hopes.
England-based players Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen got the goals for Marc Wilmots’ side to condemn Wales to defeat.
Coleman was also not helped by a lengthy list of injury absentees.
Joe Allen, Craig Bellamy, Neil Taylor, Andrew Crofts, Wayne Hennessey and Jack Collison were among those missing. Liverpool midfielder Allen could yet recover from illness to feature against Serbia on Tuesday, although Collins will be missing through suspension after his dismissal. That fixture takes on extra significance for Wales, who cannot afford to begin the campaign with back-to-back defeats.
And Coleman says that red cards and injuries will be no excuse. He said: “It is important to get something. People are not going to look at our situation and say we had this guy missing, they are going to say ‘you’ve got no points’, which is fair enough.
“We have to show the same attitude as we showed against Belgium.
“We will try and keep 11 players on the pitch, obviously, and if we do that we will pick points up, I am certain of that. I am certain of that because we have just played the strongest team in the group and done well.”
The result leaves Coleman without a win from his three games in charge, and Wales have now lost four games in a row without scoring. Just over two weeks ago, the Welsh turned in a wretched performance in losing 2-0 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the former Fulham boss feels he saw more than enough against Belgium to suggest his side can bounce back.
“I feel a lot better about our performance even though we didn’t get the points, and these games are all about points,” he said. “You look at your players and think you have worked on certain things and then in the game maybe they don’t do what you asked. I felt like that against Bosnia but I can’t complain about this performance, everything we asked them to do they attempted and we have to do this in the next game. It is not going to be easy going to Serbia.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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