Euro 2016: Wales boss Chris Coleman says tournament not the end of journey

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Euro 2016: Wales expecting tough test against Russia – Chris Coleman

Wales boss Chris Coleman says Euro 2016 is “not the end of the journey” for his squad as they prepare to face Russia for a place in the last 16.

Victory in Toulouse on Monday would secure Wales’ spot in the knockout phase, in their first major international tournament since 1958.

“This team has got the potential to go on and on. They’ve got everything to look forward to,” said Coleman.

“We are in a fantastic position. Nevertheless, there’s more to come.”

Wales, who beat Slovakia 2-1 in their opening game before losing 2-1 to England, could still qualify for the last 16 with a draw against Russia.

Coleman added: “Whilst everybody will look at this game as the be all and end all, whether we progress or not it’s not the end of the journey for this team.

“Our players have done unbelievably well. It’s been an eye-opener and hard, of course. It’s really intense but it’s been enjoyable.”

‘This team can’t lose’


Wales’ players training in Toulouse ahead of their vital clash with Russia

Coleman said that, however far Wales progress in France, the players will “learn from this tournament”.

He said: “This group, this team, they can’t lose because whenever we go home, whenever that time is, we have gained so much experience.

“Normally we get to a certain level and in June we are playing a friendly game – we are playing the Netherlands, who are already qualified and who are planning for a tournament.

“Now we are at a tournament ourselves and this group gets all the praise and accolades they deserve. And it is not over for us.”

Day of destiny welcomed by the players


Joe Allen says Wales’ players are determined to avoid scenes of regret, such as this one after the last-gasp loss to England

Joe Allen has welcomed Wales’ Euro 2016 day of destiny by saying the squad are determined to have no regrets over the tournament.

“You don’t want it to be the be all and end all in the sense that you take your foot off the pedal at any time in the future,” said Allen.

“You want to make sure that this is something that we get to experience again, but playing at this stage as a footballer is the highest level – and we certainly want to make sure that there are no regrets on our part.

“I think coming off the pitch no matter what happens, we’re confident we’ll do the business.

“We want to make sure that we throw absolutely everything at it.

“We’re confident that we can get ourselves into the knock-out rounds and, after that, who knows what could happen?”

No thoughts of others with all eyes on Russia


Joe Allen made his Wales debut in 2009

Allen says Wales will shut out what is happening in the England game with Slovakia as qualification is in their own hands.

The two matches will be played simultaneously as Group B draws to a conclusion.

And the Liverpool midfielder promises a positive approach against Russian opponents who need to win to keep their own last 16 hopes alive.

“It’s a difficult one,” he said. “It’s one where people think if you set up just to cling on to that point it can often be the downfall of teams.

“That won’t be our approach, but it is one where we want to make sure we are more in control of how we go about our performance.

“Performing well is first and foremost what we want to do, because we know when the focus is on doing that then the results come with it.”

Wales assistant boss Osian Roberts confirmed Wales have a fully-fit squad to choose from for the Russia game.

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