Chris Coleman believes this generation of Wales players will continue to go from strength to strength, regardless of the result in their crunch Group B clash with Russia at Euro 2016.
Wales are competing at their first major international tournament since 1958 and got off to a winning start as goals from star man Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu secured a 2-1 win over Slovakia in Bordeaux.
Bale was on target from a free-kick once more against England but Coleman’s men went down to their neighbours by the same scoreline.
A win over Russia in Toulouse on Monday would guarantee their progress to the last 16, while a draw would also leave them firmly in contention.
But irrespective of when Wales’ time in France comes to an end, Coleman feels there is plenty more to come from his players
“We’ve got to this tournament and nobody wants it to end but this team is very much in the middle of a journey,” he told a pre-match news conference at the Stade de Toulouse.
“This is our first taste of major tournament football and it’s amazing, it’s fantastic, it’s difficult, it’s tough, it’s relentless.
“Every day we’ve been together for the last month. It’s a huge learning curve for us but we’ll take so much from it, whenever it is our time to go home.
“The best teams in Europe are all here and to get anything within a 90 minute game of football you’ve got to be at your absolute maximum physically, mentally, tactically and technically.
“It’s great, it’s pushing us to the absolute limit and when you do that you find out a lot about yourself.
“This team, they can’t lose; this group, they can’t lose. They’ll be going home with so much experience.”
Coleman, who has the luxury of a fully fit squad to call upon following their last-gasp heartache against England, thinks Wales’ presence at Euro 2016 improves their standing as a football nation.
“In the past all we’ve got is to a certain level,” he explained. “Normally in June we’re playing a friendly game against Holland, who have already qualified and are planning for a tournament.
“We’re like a bounce team, somebody to practice against. Not anymore, now we’re at a tournament ourselves and this group deserve all the accolades they’re getting – all the praise and all the credit.
“We’re in a fantastic, exciting position. It’s a huge challenge and we’re looking forward to the game.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!