Wales 1 Macedonia 0 - Chris Coleman reaction
10:27pm Friday 11th October 2013 in Wales rugby and football
WALES boss Chris Coleman expressed his delight after Wales held on to beat Macedonia, admitting a defeat would have meant curtains for him, writes Michael Pearlman.
The under-fire boss is coming to the end of his contract and speculation has been rife as to whether he'll be offered the opportunity to continue his tenure.
A new contract offered last month by the Football Association of Wales is still yet to be signed, but tonight's victory will again bring the issue to the fore.
Coleman was happy after Simon Church's goal seperated the two sides.
"As a manager, with so many missing, I was delighted, the lads were brilliant," he said.
"Declan John had a brilliant debut and we had intent and meaning to our play, which we didn't have against Serbia.
"I told the players to worry about the performance and not the result and we had a little bit of luck.
"I was more pleased with the attitude displayed than the result, but it's a massive three points for us.
"I enjoyed the win tonight more than the Scotland wins, the performance at Hampden is how I see Wales, how I see us growing, but because a lot has been said since the last camp, with 15 pull-outs, we've been up against it.
"They stood up to that tonight, we were brilliant."
When asked if the result had made a point to his critics, he said: "I judged the players on their mentality, that's all I looked at and they were brilliant.
"I don't want to talk about the contract, if we'd have lost I'd have been out, no doubt about it.
"Belgium is a tough test, they are one of the best teams on the planet and we'll be tested in every area of the pitch for 90 minutes.
"I've sat here before when we've lost and said it's a good group of players with potential but when so many aren't here, what can I do?
"When everyone is fit I know how we should play.
"We'll get through Belgium and Finland and then talk about the contract.
"There is a lot for me to look at. There are a lot of unhappy supporters, a lot of criticism coming our way.
"I've got to look at it as a whole, can I effect it when we have players out in large numbers.
"But I'm delighted with the players tonight, I enjoyed this game more than any other."
Coleman explained that he has spoken to FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford this week, but wouldn't be drawn on the talks.
"Jonathan and the FAW will have their ideas on the future for Welsh football and I'll have mine, but whatever happens in the next two games, I'm yet to make my mind up. There is a lot to think about," he said.
"All I can do is concentrate on the football side of things.
"I've talked about my future enough. I'm super proud of the lads and tomorrow I'll wake up and worry about Tuesday and preparing for that game.
"I hope the Belgiums are out partying after qualifying for the World Cup. It's going to be a super hard game, but I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do."
Striker Craig Bellamy, playing for Wales for the last time at home, added his delight over the result.
"I know football can have a cruel ending so I'm delighted to have won," he said. "I'm also happy I didn't get booked, I was wary of the referee because he wasn't the greatest in the world.
"It's a great honour to play for your country and to do it 77 times, it's just the greatest thing."
Coleman paid tribute to Bellamy, but not exactly at great length.
"We switched Craig to the left to protect Declan and he did a great job, like all of the players," he said.
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