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Coleman relishing Belgium test

SoccerNews in European Championships 11 Jun 2015

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Wales are relishing facing Belgium in a top-of-the-table Euro 2016 qualifier, according to manager Chris Coleman.

Both sides are locked together on 11 points at the summit of Group B, having won three matches and drawn two.

The pair drew 0-0 in Brussels back in November, and Belgium’s superior goal difference means they occupy top spot ahead of Friday’s game in Cardiff.

“This is what we have always wanted,” Coleman said.

“The difference in this camp is the attention we have had and the interest from outside.

“It is huge, but we cannot complain because we have said for a long time we wanted to play in front of full houses against the best teams in the world – playing to do something special [qualify for a major tournament].

“Hopefully it gets bigger and bigger because with every result we get, the next game gets bigger. We are embracing it, and it is helping the squad grow and mature.

“The more times you are in those big games and you take care of the pressure, you get better for it.”

Gareth Bale – scorer of four goals in qualifying so far – is in line to make it a half-century of caps for his country.

“It’s fitting that his 50th cap comes in a top-of-the-table clash,” Coleman said.

“No Wales player has ever got to 100 caps and three years ago when I came into the job there was the challenge – who is it going to be?

“It’s a number but it’s also proof that you’ve put out for your country, you had that passion and desire to turn up.

“Baley should be proud to get to 50 at his age [25] and is a great example for our young players who haven’t hit the squad yet. He’s definitely a shining light there.”

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