Chris Coleman Tells The FAW: The Ball Is In Your Court

Chris Coleman hopes his future as Wales manager will be resolved by the time his contract runs out at the end of this month.

Coleman will take charge of his 50th international at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday night, when his side faces World Cup qualifiers Panama, with his future still hanging in the balance.

The man who led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 wants assurances over full-time positions for some members of his back-up team, as well as an improved contract for himself.

The FAW have begun preliminary talks with Coleman, but the organisation have a history of cautiousness when it comes to listening to the demands of their managers.

“It is impossible for me to say when it is going to be sorted out and they (the FAW) don’t know until we resume talks. I would imagine that will be pretty quickly after tomorrow night,” said Coleman.

“If it is sorted by the end of November, then great, because none of us gain anything by this dragging on. It is up to the powers that be how quickly the decision is taken.

“They already know my stance, how I see things, how I want to work and who I want to work with. But they might say ‘we don’t see it that way’.

“That’s OK. There won’t be any bad feelings because the experiences we have had, and where we have taken it, will never be spoilt – it has been fantastic.

“If that’s the way it goes, then that’s football, everything has to come to an end, simple as that. Or they may agree with me – that’s up to them when they want to sit down with me again after tomorrow night.”

Coleman is six games short of the Welsh record of 56 matches set by Mike England between 1980-87 and players and fans alike are hoping the man who masterminded the run to the European Championship semi-finals last year stays in post.

“It’s not me sitting down and saying ‘where is my contract’, and asking for this, that and the other. I am a factor in it, I am the manager, but I’ve got a support group around me that are integral to everything,” added Coleman.

“How I see us going to the next step is very, very important. We may not all be singing off the same hymn sheet, but if I am going to walk away then I think we can look back on taking it to a level that was unthinkable in the space of time we did it.

“Before I arrived, Gary Speed got the set-up going, it was more professionally run and he built good foundations. We came in and built on that and tried to take it forward.

“We had to get it to Premier League standard, not part-time international, and it is very professional now. But the acid test is in two, four or six years’ time, so that we keep on being competitive in campaigns.”

Coleman has given Chris Gunter the honour of leading the side for the first time on the day he equals Speed’s Welsh outfield record by reaching 85 caps, the last 64 of which have been consecutive. His experience will be in sharp contrast to the younger generation who will be on parade against the South Americans.

Having made their debuts in Paris in the 2-0 defeat against France, Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks will line-up with Ben Woodburn and Tom Lawrence in showing Welsh fans the face of the future pof Welsh football.

“I’m not going to tell you my team yet, but we will have a young team and we will have a lot of experienced players not playing. I can tell you that so you can probably build the team yourself,” said Coleman.


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