We’ve got enough passion to fill a continent – Coleman

Date published: Tuesday 21st June 2016 8:17

Wales Bale Cotterill

Chris Coleman heaped praise on his passionate players as Wales secured top spot in their Euro 2016 group by sweeping aside Russia.

While England were held to a goalless draw by Slovakia, Wales recorded a convincing 3-0 victory to leapfrog their neighbours in Group B and ensure a last-16 meeting with a third-placed team in Paris on Saturday.

Goals by Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Gareth Bale saw Coleman’s men respond in style to Thursday’s defeat against England.

And the Wales boss said: “As a nation geographically we’re small, but I think if you’re judging us on passion then we could be described as a continent tonight, because that was amazing.

“We knew our group would be tough and it was because it was all down to the last game.

“To win it was great and I’ve got to say how proud I am of the performance of the players.

“I thought they were tremendous, so brave in possession, we had a lot of chances, and on the back of such a crushing defeat against England four days earlier.

“I think that says a lot about our players that they were able to produce that type of performance.”

Ramsey and Taylor scored within the opening 20 minutes and Bale became the tournament’s top goalscorer with his third strike in as many games.

Bale might have had a hat-trick but it was an all-round team performance which blew Russia away.

Asked if that had disproved the theory that Wales were a one-man team, Coleman said: “If you’ve got a player like Gareth Bale who plays for Real Madrid and scores the goals he does I don’t mind people saying that.

“I can understand that. At times he has won games doing something extraordinary but anyone who’s played football knows you need team spirit.

“I can see why people call us a one-man team because he’s the guy who scores great goals and he is a great player.

“He understands the help he gets around him from his team-mates, he enjoys the style of play we’ve implemented.

“If we’re honest, he’s probably played a lot better for us – but it looked as if it was a matter of time before he scored.”

Wales might now be labelled favourites to make the quarter-final stage but Coleman said the team would not be getting carried away.

“Three games ago we lost 3-0 against Sweden,” said Coleman.

“Football can change really quickly, you really are king for a day.

“We will enjoy tonight, of course, but we’re not a country that’s been at tournament after tournament, semi-finals, finals.

“This is new to us and our boys know that unless we’re maxing out we don’t get results. If we’re maxing out and at our best, then we’ve always got a chance.”

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