Euro 2016: Wales success no shock says manager Chris Coleman

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Chris Coleman: Chris Coleman: No to 'choir boys'. Yes to 'naughtiness'
Euro 2016: Wales v Belgium
Date: Friday, 1 July Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live BBC One, BBC Radio Wales and text commentary online & BBC Sport app

Wales manager Chris Coleman says he is not surprised by his team's success in reaching the last eight of Euro 2016.

Coleman's squad are chasing a historic semi-final berth after Saturday's 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in the last 16 of the tournament in France.

"I am not sitting here pinching myself thinking, 'Wow - how has that happened," Coleman said.

"It's happened because we are good enough to be here and because of the experiences we have had."

Expectations met, not exceeded

Wales players
Wales' experiences in qualifying meant they always had the opportunity to succeed at Euro 2016, according to boss Chris Coleman

Coleman says Wales have not exceeded his pre-tournament expectations, even with Wales appearing in a first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

"We have to remember the experience we have had the last couple of years," he told BBC Wales Sport. "Some of the performances these players have put on for the nation have been breathtaking.

"I know it is easy for me to say it now because we are in the quarter final, you do not expect anything in football because you know it is a game that can turn really quickly.

"The group of people we have together are very good.

"You need a bit of luck, you need them to perform at their maximum and if you get all that in the same mix, you always have a great chance."

Reaching last eight may have shocked one player

Gunter tweet capture

Reaching the quarter-final stage could cause big problems for Wales' right back Chris Gunter. He is supposed to be the best man when brother Marc marries his fiancée Danielle in Mexico.

The only issue? It clashes with the remainder of the tournament - and Reading defender Gunter is supposed to be the best man.

"Marc has a problem already because 20-odd people fly on Tuesday to Mexico," Gunter said.

"I know my brother is talking about leaving Cancun on Thursday and flying straight in [to Lille] and flying straight out after [the quarter-final], but I'm not sure how that will go down with the rest who are flying out with him.

"He is absolutely delighted, though. He booked the wedding before we qualified. Then we knew it would only clash if we got to the later stages. To be stood here now even talking about it is unbelievable.

"I am sure the wedding will still go ahead. By hook or by crook, I am sure everyone will get to the games and get to the wedding."

Gunter family
Marc Gunter (back row, centre) has attended every Wales match at Euro 2016 as a supporter. The entire Gunter family regularly follow Chris whether playing for club or country.

And if all else fails?

"I think it will be the first best man's speech ever on Skype," Gunter joked. "I don't think there would be anyone happier for me than my family if I wasn't to make it [to Cancun]."

No pressure on Wales, lots on Belgium

Chris Coleman and Marc Wilmots
Chris Coleman celebrates Wales' 1-0 qualifying victory over Belgium while Marc Wilmots looks on

Coleman, appointed manager in 2012, insists he does not feel pressure, but he knows Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, whose team lie second in the world rankings, will always be under the weight of a huge expectation for his squad to perform.

''I think people will look at Marc and see the quality and the strength in depth he has, the choices he is able to make, the substitutions he is able to make. That comes with its own problems," Coleman said.

''It's all relative. Going into the tournament the pressure is on Marc, because of the team and the quality. They have to at least get to the semi final, the final or even win it. That comes with its own pressures.

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"It's not easy for Marc, it's not easy for any manager. But I can honestly say I don't look at any managers and feel too much sympathy or love, because I know how tough the job is.

"It's all about yourself, it's all about your own team. It's dog eat dog. I did feel for Michael O'Neil (the Northern Ireland coach) after the game, because I think Northern Ireland have had a great tournament and Michael has done a great job.

"On the day it was a little bit of luck, a little bit of fortune which went our way. It could have gone their way. So, you do feel that afterwards, especially as I know Michael very well.

"But predominantly it's going to be me against him, us against them and whoever comes out on top comes out on top."

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