Coleman coy on contract

Chris Coleman has hinted he would be prepared to walk away from a new Wales deal after his recent talks with the FAW.

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Chris Coleman: Future not yet certain

Chris Coleman: Future not yet certain

Chris Coleman has suggested he would be prepared to walk away from a Wales contract extension after his most recent discussions with the Football Association of Wales hierarchy.

Coleman had verbally agreed a further two-year stint in charge of the Dragons prior to last month's World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia.

But the back-to-back defeats, which saw Wales slump to the bottom of Group A, mean the deal remains unsigned, and FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford recently suggested results in the upcoming qualifiers against the Macedonians and Belgium will be taken into consideration before anything is finalised.

Coleman, who claimed judging him on two games was an example of short-termism, suggested he was no longer certain he would sign the contract himself, after a meeting with FAW chiefs on Monday.

"The contract is still there, it has not been signed, ideally it would have been," he said.

"I have seen comments that I will be judged going into these games. If that's the case, that's not right, surely it has got to be about the bigger picture, but it's not right to sign the contract now."

He added: "We spoke on Monday at length but more on how it had gone in the campaign, what my experiences were, stuff going forward for the next campaign. What we want to be doing. No targets were set.

"The perception now is not good. If we beat Macedonia everything will be rosy.

"People outside might say 'well Chris can sign the contract now', but maybe I won't.

"I don't know looking at it myself. I'm going 'Can I do what I really want to do? Can I achieve the success I am desperate for the country to achieve?'

"On the pitch, I know everyone says that is international football, but I can't get my best team for 90 minutes. That has got to worry anybody, never mind the run of games that I need.

"I feel like I have won the lottery, I have this much money in the bank, because you look at the players we have got, but I can't touch them. That is an enormous frustration.

"We will be expected to beat Macedonia regardless of who is on the pitch. I accept that challenge. I want to beat them.

"Then we have an enormous challenge in Belgium and a friendly with Finland. After that it is for me to reflect and, whether the contract is there to be signed or not, I can say thanks very much."

Coleman's bullish statement came on a day when the version of his 23-man squad for the forthcoming final qualification double-header versus Macedonia and Belgium was issued to the media despite including four players who were unavailable in the form of Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, Andrew Crofts and Joe Ledley.

There was particular surprise when Bale's name appeared on the list, but Coleman quickly explained the Real Madrid man would not play any part, before suggesting Carlo Ancelotti had thrown his world-record signing in at the deep end after a pre-season ruined by injury.

"I would never criticise another manager - Carlo Ancelotti is a brilliant manager - but La Liga football is a different tempo to the Premier League," he said.

"The Premier League is the fastest so maybe Carlo is thinking Gareth can handle it, he's a super athlete.

"But in our last camp he was nowhere near fit. He had a reaction on the morning of the Macedonia game, that is why we only used him for 35 minutes against Serbia last month.

"You have to put things in perspective. What has happened to him with the move, he must feel under pressure.

"He is probably trying too hard to do things that come naturally to him. Physically he is not there, he is not ready and he might not be for some time.

"If you don't do a pre-season, no matter how good you are, you always play catch-up for the season. This season might be a tough one for him, as good as he is."


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