Coleman gets support from Williams

Wales captain Ashley Williams insists victory over Scotland proves Chris Coleman is still the right man to lead the nation.

Last Updated: 24/03/13 at 13:24 Post Comment

Chris Coleman: Backed by Ashley Williams

Chris Coleman: Backed by Ashley Williams

Wales captain Ashley Williams insists victory over Scotland proves Chris Coleman is still the right man to lead the nation through their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Dragons boss was under pressure before Friday night's Hampden meeting, having guided them to just one win from their first four Group A matches.

Former Wales keeper Neville Southall even claimed in the build-up he could be sacked if Gordon Strachan picked up a win on his first competitive outing as Scotland manager.

But the 2-1 success for Coleman's men in Glasgow moves the Welsh up to third place, where they are seven points behind joint leaders Belgium and Croatia, and captain Williams believes the victory should silence the manager's doubters ahead of Tuesday's meeting with the latter nation at the Liberty Stadium.

He said: "The manager was spot on against Scotland. He made good substitutions and got all the big calls right.

"There has been criticism of him but not from anyone who matters. People have just been talking for talking's sake.

"We are not concerned about it and the lads are behind him. We enjoy playing for him, we enjoy the camps, we enjoy the training.

"Against Scotland you saw that he knows what he is doing."

Wales secured victory after fighting back from Grant Hanley's opener for the Scots which came in first-half stoppage time.

Aaron Ramsey levelled from the spot after Robert Snodgrass felled Chris Gunter in the box to collect his second booking.

With a one-man advantage, the visitors were able to make use of the extra room by finding Andy King down the right and his centre was perfect for Hal Robson-Kanu to head home the winner.

Ramsey was sent off in stoppage time for his late tackle on James McArthur but Wales had done enough to secure victory.

The fact their second-half recovery was achieved without the assistance of 25-goal Tottenham forward Gareth Bale - who limped off at the break due to ankle problems and a virus - was another satisfying fact for Swansea defender Williams.

He said: "It was a very important win for us. We need the points and there was a little bit extra riding on the game because it was against one of the Home Nations. It was massive.

"But we showed we can cope without Gareth. He dug in at Hampden and gave it a go but you could see he wasn't himself. He tried for 45 minutes but it wasn't right.

"But after that we came through and no one can say we are a one-man team.

"We were a goal down and came out for the second half without him. But we got the result and everyone played their part."

For much of the first half in Glasgow, Wales' passing and movement was a joy to behold.

The hosts, however, were able to eventually gain a foothold in midfield which they used to steady themselves before Hanley's first intentional goal.

It did not last for Strachan's men as Wales established their command but Williams now wants to see his side boss proceedings for the full 90 minutes when the Croatians visit.

He said: "That's the best I've seen from a Wales team. That is us at our best. That is how we want to play.

"We kept the ball well and didn't let Scotland settle on it. We won it back early and that is what we are supposed to do.

"We dropped off a bit towards the end of the half and they scored but in the second we controlled it pretty well.

"If we can play like we did for the first 25 minutes for a full game, we'll be a match for anyone."


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