Euro 2016: Wales boss Chris Coleman says fans can get carried away

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Nicosia
Wales coped with everything in Cyprus, says boss Chris Coleman
Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales v Israel
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Kick-off: 17:00 BST, Sunday, 6 September
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online.

Wales manager Chris Coleman has urged fans to get "carried away" but says he and his players will not do so until they have qualified for Euro 2016.

Having beaten Cyprus 1-0 on Thursday, Wales can seal qualification with victory against Israel on Sunday.

Coleman believes ending Wales' 58-year absence from a major tournament would be just reward for the supporters.

"For the Welsh supporters waiting for us to get back home, get excited," Coleman said.

"My message to them is to get carried away. Enjoy this - they've waited a long time.

"But we can't get carried away. I can't, the players can't, my staff can't and we won't."

Coleman added that regardless of whether he and the players are tired physically or mentally, they now have to focus on preparing for Sunday's "huge" game.

"We've got to live up to the expectation. We've done that so far and let's hope we do it again," the 45-year-old added.

Gareth Bale celebrates
Wales goalscorer Gareth Bale celebrates after the final whistle in Cyprus

'This is our own path'

Wales are now three points clear at the top of Group B with three matches left, and on the brink of a first appearance at a major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

After Israel visit Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, Coleman's side face a double header against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Andorra in October.

Victory against Israel will be enough to secure their passage to Euro 2016, but Coleman insists his players dare not contemplate the tournament in France yet.

"We can't hide from the facts. Looking at the way the group is we're one win away from a guaranteed place in France 2016, we know that," he said.

"But the players, I promise you, never ever mention it. They know it's there, they know what everyone will be talking about back home.

"They saw the incredible 4,000 following we had tonight [Thursday], but we must never ever take our eye off the goal."

Can Wales cope with the pressure this time?

Wales will be strong favourites against Israel on Sunday, having beaten them comprehensively 3-0 in Haifa in March.


Welsh football history is littered with tales of near-misses, falling agonisingly short of the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2004 among others.

But Coleman has spoken previously about how this current Welsh side has coped with the pressure of increased expectations, and he has challenged his players to do the same on Sunday.

"It's about results and I think we find ourselves in a position now where we need to deal with the expectation," he added.

"We need to be realistic. Sunday will be a tough, tough game for us. We know what's at stake and we can only give our best."

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