Coleman not worried by Wales form

Wales Manager Chris Coleman

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Chris Coleman happy despite Wales’ defeat in Ukraine

Wales manager Chris Coleman says his side’s preparations for Euro 2016 will not be undermined by their recent indifferent form.

Monday’s 1-0 friendly defeat by Ukraine in Kiev means Wales have won only one of their past six matches.

But, having qualified for their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup, Coleman is not concerned about a possible loss of momentum.

“We’re going full of positivity, full of confidence,” he said.

“The performances have been good.”

  • Match report: Ukraine 1-0 Wales
  • Relive Wales’ loss to Ukraine

Wales’ only win in their past six games came against Andorra, with defeats by Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Netherlands, and draws with Israel and Northern Ireland.

“Results will be what they are going to be but I think if we’re going into a tournament, our first tournament since 1958, and we’re worried about momentum, we’re looking at it all wrong,” said Coleman.

“I think in the last six games you’ve got to understand who we’ve played against.

“Bosnia’s never going to be easy, the home game against Israel where we absolutely hammered them but couldn’t score was an excellent performance.

“The Netherlands at home in a friendly and Northern Ireland and away to Ukraine. Sometimes you can look at stats and get carried away with them.”

‘Not do or die’

Wales’ defeat by Ukraine was their final match before Coleman selects his squad for Euro 2016.

Coleman was encouraged by his side’s performance in Kiev, and emphasised this was not the players’ last opportunity to impress him before this summer’s tournament in France.

“This wasn’t a game that was going to be do or die,” he added.

“It wasn’t your last chance and if you don’t perform you’re not coming.

“I thought they gave everything they had. Sometimes you can give too much and lose a bit of quality.”


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Chris Coleman happy despite Wales’ defeat in Ukraine

Set-piece concern

The one negative from Coleman’s perspective was Ukraine’s winner, the second goal in successive games Wales have conceded from a set-piece.

The visitors’ defenders were caught off guard from Ruslan Rotan’s chipped free-kick, allowing an unmarked Andriy Yarmolenko to turn and score with a low shot.

Four days earlier, Northern Ireland’s Craig Cathcart benefited from similarly sloppy Welsh defending to score following a corner.

“The only thing I’m disappointed with is that we conceded both goals from set-plays,” said Coleman, whose side conceded only four goals in 10 qualifying matches.

“First of all I must look at myself as a manager and a coach and look to adjust something in the preparation.

“We will look at that because in open play, if you look at our record in the last 15 games, the number of goals we’ve conceded is not very much.

“I’m not giving any secrets away – the opposition will look at those stats. It’s definitely something we need to go and work on.”

‘Irreplaceable’ Allen


Joe Allen (right) has started two Premier League games for Liverpool this season

While some fringe men were hoping to impress Coleman in Kiev, one established first-team player assured of his place in France is Joe Allen.

The midfielder has featured only sporadically for Liverpool this season but shone against Ukraine with a commanding display.

“Brilliant. You almost want a Joe Allen in front of the back four starting play and a Joe Allen just in behind the striker making the last pass because he’s capable of both,” said Coleman.

“He’s a great player. I don’t use that term loosely.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s not playing enough for Liverpool for his own liking, but that’s up to Liverpool. But, for us, the job he does for us, he’s irreplaceable.”

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