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Rob Page Expects To Stay As Wales Boss As Steve Cooper And Osian Roberts Wait In The Wings

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By David Williams

Rob Page wants to continue as Wales manager and expects the Football Association of Wales to keep him in post.

Despite failing to make this summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany after losing Tuesday night’s play-off final against Poland in heartbreaking fashion on penalties, the national team boss is determined to stay on.

Page has two years remaining on his contract and wants to be given the opportunity to oversee the qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup.

But the FAW plan to hold a review into the unsuccessful ultimately unsuccessful Euros attempt and the manager’s position will come under scrutiny.

Support for Page – who guided Wales to the 2022 World Cup finals – among fans on social media appears to be mixed.

The most discussed alternatives are former England Under 21, Swansea City and Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper and Osian Roberts, the former FAW technical director who was also assistant to Chris Coleman.

Cooper is currently without a role after being dismissed by Forest earlier in the season, while Roberts is in charge at Italian club, Como.

Asked if he was keen to stay on after the play-off defeat, Page said: “Absolutely.

“We’re a team in transition and, while we’re in transition, we’re one penalty kick away from qualifying.

“So we’ve got games in June, Nations League in the autumn and then the start of a World Cup qualifying campaign.

“So that’s my full focus now, building on what we’ve already started and the transition we’re in at this moment in time.”

Page did admit, however, that support from FAW chief executive Noel Mooney was not as strong as Page would have hoped at times during the Euros campaign.

But he insisted his relationship with current FAW technical director David Adams was harmonious.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Dave Adams, the technical director,” added Page.

“We’ve had our issues in the past, haven’t we? It’s been well documented. But everything’s fine. Everything’s great.

“I think they appreciate it (the workPage has done). The board, the chief exec, the president, I think they see the journey we’re on and what we’re trying to do.

“In 12 months we’ve gone from from retirement of senior players to introducing younger players and being one kick away from qualification.

“I think they see the work we’re doing and the supporters do too. Nothing changes.”

Page believes his young team can learn the lessons from the past two years and apply them to attempting to qualify for another World Cup.

“I’m absolutely gutted for them. It’s a horrible way to go out. It’s a cruel game. I’m really disappointed right now but I’m really proud of them.

“That was the message in the changing room. For the campaign overall and the journey we’re on, I couldn’t be more proud.

“It’s a horrible way to go out but hopefully we’ll learn and become stronger for having gone through the horrible experiences of tonight.

“I just know I’ve got a good group players, great staff, and we’re going on the right path. There are younger players to be introduced as well, so that’s my next aim.

“They’ve said it in the changing room, they’ve said it on the pitch with (captain) Ben (Davies). We’re a good group and we’re going places.

“We have learned lessons, I’ve learned lessons from the campaign overall. If we get our values right, with or without the ball, we’re a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re disappointed but we’ll build on it.”

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