Chris Coleman: Wales boss would have taken group position before Euro 2016

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman says Wales are still in a strong position as they participate in a first major finals in 58 years

Chris Coleman says he would have accepted Wales' current position going into their final group game at Euro 2016 before the tournament started.

Daniel Sturridge's late England goal in the 2-1 defeat denied Wales the chance to seal a last 16 spot with a group game against Russia still to play.

"Before we go into this tournament, if you say it is all on the last game and if we get a result we go through, we would have to accept that," he said.

"There is always three games to play."

Gareth Bale's thunderous 30-yard freekick put Wales ahead in Lens but second-half substitutes Jamie Vardy and Sturridge both got on the scoresheet to put England top of Group B ahead of the final round of matches.

Group B will be settled when England play Slovakia in St Etienne on Monday while Wales face Russia in Toulouse at the same time.

While victory would definitely guarantee Wales a place in the knock-out stages, a point may also be enough to progress.

Wales could even qualify if they are beaten by Russia, but Chris Coleman's side would then be relying on other results.

Follow England's example

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Coleman wants Wales to remain focused on their own objectives now the hotly-anticipated England game is out of the way and would like to emulate Roy Hodgson's side.

"The danger of this one being the middle one was everyone was looking at this - the Battle of Britain," Coleman explained.

"You get caught up in it a little bit but we have to get it out of our system, we can't take the disappointment into the next game. I think the disappointment is because we won the first one and were 1-0 up in the second one at half-time.

"The fashion we lost it was a bitter pill to swallow, but you have to get over it.

"England did it. They conceded in the last minute against Russia and showed good courage to get back in the second game - and we have to do the same."

Defeat in Battle of Britain was 'gut-wrenching'

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Coleman is now hoping Wales can show mental strength, admitting the manner of defeat to England was disappointing.

"You know you're going to be up against it from the start [against England], it was a tough game," he said.

"But we did everything we could to keep them at bay and even when they got the equaliser, they had possession but I think Wayne (Hennessey) pulled off one save.

"They pressed and probed but we weren't stretched too badly.

"For the dying seconds to lose it there, I can't say I've felt that disappointed too many times in my career as I did when that goal went in. To lose it like that was gut-wrenching for the players and our supporters."

Strong response

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Coleman wants to see a strong response against a Russian side who lost to Slovakia 2-1 following their draw with England. Russia's chance of qualification rests on beating Wales.

"I think it is an exciting group this one because it is all on these last games," said Coleman.

"We know what Slovakia are all about, it won't be an easy game for England either.

"Russia have got experience, they will be hurting after the defeat against Slovakia.

"I think it is whichever team is able to put the disappointments behind them from this middle game will be the ones to prevail."

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