Chris Coleman the obvious choice as Wales manager - Robert Page

Chris Coleman
Coleman has managed in Spain and Greece

Former Wales captain Robert Page believes Chris Coleman is the "obvious choice" to succeed the late Gary Speed as national team manager.

Coleman, the former Fulham and Coventry boss, has confirmed he will hold talks with the Football Association of Wales this week.

And former international team-mate Page says Coleman is the right man to follow Speed as Wales manager.

"I think he's the obvious choice if I'm honest," said Page.

Coleman, who won 32 caps for Wales, has already expressed his desire to be Speed's successor.

The ex-Crystal Palace and Blackburn player is believed to be one of a number of candidates to interest the FAW, who are expected to make an announcement later this week.

And Coleman has emerged as a strong favourite to take over from Speed, who died at the end of November.

"It's a mixture of emotions because of the recent events [but] we move forward," said former Watford defender Page.

"I think he [Coleman] got to the top three when Gary was appointed so I think it was a process that was already set in place and they [FAW] knew exactly where they wanted to go.

"Obviously Chris has had experience at the top level, playing and management in the Premiership and in the Championship.

"He's very good with people. He's excellent and his people skills and management will help him out with that. He's on the players level.

"He knows what the players want because he's young. Having retired just a few years ago I think he knows what the players are expected to do.

"That's one of the plusses - he's got the respect of the players straight away for what he's achieved as a player and a manager."

Coleman, who recently resigned as manager of Greek side Larissa, has said he is willing to retain Speed's backroom team.

Assistant manager Raymond Verheijen and coach Osian Roberts have received the backing of many of the Wales squad, including Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, to continue in their roles.

But Page, now a coach at Port Vale, says Coleman is likely to bring in his own support staff if he is appointed.

"If it was me personally going into a job I [would] want people around me that I can trust and people singing from the same song sheet as me," said Page.

"Because of the success Gary brought to the Welsh set-up straight away and the instant impact it's going to be a difficult job for him taking over.

"The expectation now has risen considerably but Chris will take that in his stride and I think it could help him by taking his own staff in.

"He's got to think not only what's best for the team and for Wales as a country but for himself as well because it's his career.

"He doesn't want to fail obviously, he wants to succeed. Whether he feels he can succeed by adopting the staff that's already there or whether he feels he has to make changes, that's entirely up to him.

"He's got every right to make that decision."

Another former Welsh international, Andy Legg, believes Coleman would be a good choice to succeed Speed.

"Everybody is saying Chris the right man but we all said that about Gary," said the Llanelli manager.

"Gary went in, turned it around [and] did a terrific job. Unfortunately, God bless him, he's not here anymore.

"But somebody's got to take over and why not Chris? He knows the scene, he's a true Welshman and why not?"

Wales' next game is a friendly against Costa Rica in Cardiff on 29 February, a match organised as a memorial to Speed.

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