Euro 2016: Wales keen to avoid England in group stages

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman has previously managed Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry

Wales manager Chris Coleman hopes his side avoid England in the group stages of Euro 2016.

Coleman is the first man to lead Wales to a major tournament since Jimmy Murphy in 1958.

They will be joined at the finals in France by England, who won all their qualifiers to top Group E.

"They have just won 10 campaign games - that is difficult to do, regardless of who you are playing against," Coleman told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"They are a very, very good team and with Roy Hodgson in charge they will be a tough nut for us to crack.

"It looks great but we don't want to be in the same group as England."

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Wales are eighth in world governing body Fifa's rankings, two places above England.

Hodgson's team are in pot one for the Euro 2016 draw with Wales and Northern Ireland in pot four. external-link

Three years ago, Wales suffered their heaviest defeat since 1996, losing 6-1 to Serbia during the failed campaign to reach the 2014 World Cup.

It was a fifth successive defeat for Coleman, who took charge of the national manager in January 2012 following the death of predecessor Gary Speed.

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The 45-year-old admitted this was a turning point for himself and his side, who have won nine of their subsequent 18 competitive fixtures, including six during qualifying for Euro 2016.

"The players didn't play well but it was my fault," he said.

"A lot was said when I took over that I should carry on from Gary Speed, who was doing a good job. People didn't want things to change so I tried to carry on what Gary had been doing.

"I was wrong. I needed to do what I believed in. Style of play, training camps and sessions; you have to be your own man and stand or fall by that."