Coleman: Forget about poor Wales run now

Date published: Monday 6th June 2016 8:15

Chris Coleman insists Wales’ poor form heading into Euro 2016 is nothing to be concerned about.

Wales suffered their heaviest defeat since September 2013 when Sweden beat them 3-0 at Stockholm’s Friends Arena on Sunday.

So Wales go into their first major tournament for 58 years having failed to win in four matches, their last victory coming at home to Andorra in their final Euro 2016 qualifier in October.

But Coleman said: “Had we beaten Sweden, it doesn’t guarantee anything next week.

“It’s always good to win, it’s good to play well, get a bit of momentum and confidence. But it doesn’t actually guarantee us anything next weekend.

“Forget about the run we’ve been on, what form you’re in, it’s all about that game.”

Wales open their Euro 2016 campaign against Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday.

Five days later Wales play England in Lens before meeting Russia in Toulouse.

“That game doesn’t exist, the England game. It doesn’t mean anything,” said Coleman.

“The only thing that means anything is the Slovakia game.

“We’re playing against a team who’ve been on a hell of a good run.

“They’ve won in Germany, they’ve just had a draw with Northern Ireland, who are on a great run.

“It’s not like we can go into it and say ‘We’re going to hold you back for the second game or the third game’.

“It’s all about that first game and we’ll use everything we have, all the powers we have to get the performance right in that first game.

“I’ve been saying for some time what a good team Slovakia are.

“They play good football and they’re very similar to the team we played today in certain elements.

“It’s a huge test for us next week, but it’s one we should have absolutely no fear about.”

Coleman expects to send out a far stronger side against Slovakia than he did versus Sweden.

Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu are all said to be making good progress following injury and are in contention to play on Saturday.

Gareth Bale was protected until the 64th minute in Stockholm but he came through unscathed despite being on the end of a couple of crunching Swedish challenges.

“He (Bale) got some minutes on the pitch and he’s totally focused on next week,” said Coleman.

“He’s walked off the pitch and he’s fine. That’s the main thing, they all walked off OK.

“We qualified as fourth seeds and not many times does that happen.

“Nobody expected anything, and now we go into this round of three games as underdogs.

“It doesn’t mean we can’t produce something special because we’re capable of it.”

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