Euro 2016 finals just the start for Wales - Mark Hughes

Wales manager Chris Coleman
Wales lost just one game during Euro 2016 qualifying

Wales can build momentum from qualifying successfully for Euro 2016 to reach more finals, says former manager Mark Hughes.

Current boss Chris Coleman has led Wales to their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

"The guys are going to enjoy every minute of it and I don't think it's a one-off thing," Hughes told BBC Wales.

"They can build on it and there's a World Cup coming up, why can't we qualify for that as well?"

Hughes won 72 caps and scored 16 goals for Wales, as well as managing his country between 1999 and 2004, but was never involved at a major finals.

"It's a huge thing. I never had the benefit of being involved in a tournament situation and it's the one thing as a player and manager I wasn't able to do," said Stoke City manager Hughes, 51.

"It's fantastic for Chris and the guys. They've done a fantastic job.

Mark Hughes wales
Mark Hughes played 72 times for Wales and later managed them but never reached a major finals

"It's not easy - I've been there as a player and as a manager - I know better than most.

"So to actually take that final step is a fantastic thing and everybody involved should get great credit and recognition."

Wales will be one of the lowest-seeded teams when the draw for the Euro 2016 groups is made in Paris on 12 December.

But Hughes agrees with fellow former striker Ian Rush, Wales' record goal-scorer, that Coleman's team will be no pushovers even if they can expect a tough draw.

"There's a lot been said about the team spirit - I don't think that's ever been a problem with Welsh teams in the past," Hughes added.

"To be perfectly honest that spirit has always been there, but at times we just lacked a little bit of quality that top teams would always exploit and capitalise on.

"As a consequence we just weren't able to make that final step.

"You look at the side and the individuals there and you sense there's real belief, a real unity to the group and that will take you a long way.

"The one thing I always used to say as a player and a manager is that the hard thing was qualifying and I always felt once we'd done it or were able to do it, we'd actually go to the finals of tournaments and actually surprise people.

"So I'm really looking forward to it. Now we're there, I think we can go there and really enjoy ourselves."

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