Wales boss Coleman ‘not thinking about future’

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman succeeded the late Gary Speed as Wales boss

Wales manager Chris Coleman is “not thinking about” his future after they failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Monday’s 1-0 home defeat by the Republic of Ireland ended Welsh hopes of reaching the 2018 finals in Russia.

Coleman, 47, had previously said this campaign would be his last in charge but says he is yet to decide whether he will stay in the post he took in 2012.

“The whole nation will be mourning and disappointed,” he said. “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.

It was 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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