Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wales better as underdogs – Coleman

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Jun 2016

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Wales manager Chris Coleman believes the expectation on Belgium will give his side an advantage in their Euro 2016 quarter-final against the Red Devils.

Belgium routed Hungary 4-0 in their round-of-16 match to book themselves a quarter-final clash at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy against Wales, who beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in their first game of the knock-out stages.

Coleman admitted his side were unaccustomed to the role of being favourites, and said they would relish the chance to upset the odds by beating Belgium.

“We were edgy going into the Northern Ireland game as we were expected to win and we work better as the underdog,” said Coleman.

“We have proved that, and people will expect Belgium to win. They had some criticism coming into the tournament and they lost the first game.

“But if you have a squad with that quality then any team you play against, apart from maybe two or three, Belgium are favourites.

“We will be the underdogs, but we won’t be fearing Belgium. When teams go for us and play open, we can do a lot of damage.”

Wales captain Ashley Williams is a doubt for the game after injuring his shoulder against Northern Ireland, and midfielder Aaron Ramsey may deputise as skipper if the Swansea defender fails to prove his fitness in time.

Ramsey captained Wales prior to Williams taking the armband in 2012 – a switch that Coleman believes has helped the Arsenal playmaker, who he feels was impacted by the death of former coach Gary Speed.

“When we gave the captaincy to Ash it was really to try to get the best out of Aaron and take some responsibility off his shoulders,” said Coleman.

“We must not forget what happened with Speeds – Rambo [Ramsey] was affected by that. He had a real good relationship with Speeds, so we tried to take some pressure off Rambo.

“Aaron has been the vice-captain since and I believe that he will be the captain of Wales one day when it is not Ashley Williams.

“You have Rambo, [Gareth] Bale, Joe Allen, Chris Gunter. They all have experience and whoever it will be, if I have to make that decision I will tell them personally.”

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