Chris Coleman maintains his only focus with his homeland in the throws of ‘Brexit’ is to ensure Wales stay in Europe through their Euro 2016 campaign for as long as possible.
Voters in the UK decided by a margin of 52 to 48 per cent to leave the European Union on Thursday, with the majority of Welsh voters also in favour of that course of action that prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he will step down.
Ahead of the all-British last-16 tie against Northern Ireland at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, Coleman was understandably forced to field questions at his pre-match news conference over a subject he feels his side simply cannot afford to be concerned with at this stage.
“Talking about being in or out of Europe – we’re still in [Euro 2016] and that’s all I care about,” he said.
“We’ve seen it on the news but we’ll talk about that when we get back from the tournament, whenever that may be.
“I think the lads have been watching all the football that’s been on, we’ve been part of it and that’s been the focus.”
Picking up on his boss’ ear for a pun on the referendum campaign, captain Ashley Williams added: “We’re certainly trying to remain here as long as we can.
“You do miss stuff from back home but we don’t want to be back there too soon.”
Coleman has enjoyed stints working abroad for Real Sociedad in La Liga and at Greek club Larissa.
While he was unsure over the impact Brexit will have upon the prospects of his colleagues taking on similar roles, the 46-year-old lamented a reluctance of among British coaches historically to take a chance and widen their football education abroad.
“Even before the result, I’m disappointed more coaches from back home don’t travel abroad,” he said.
“Everybody wants to work in our country. I’m pretty sure if we tried a bit harder… you may not get into Italy or Germany or somewhere like that.
“I was out of work and went to the second division in Greece because I wanted to work, wanted to get better.”
He added: “It’s all nice and tidy isn’t it? We know what it’s like at home. I don’t think I can say that management is ever comfortable but we know our surroundings, we know the leagues.
“It’s a shame in the past that more coaches and managers haven’t taken the leap because it’s worth it – it’s petrifying, I know it’s not easy, but it wasn’t half worth it in terms of experience.
“What will happen in future? I’m not sure. It will probably be more difficult.”
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