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Coleman hints he could stay on as Wales manager

Paris (AFP) – Chris Coleman indicated on Thursday that he could stay on as Wales manager, saying he doesn’t see upcoming friendlies against France and Panama as “the end of anything”.

Wales failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup after a 1-0 home loss to the Republic of Ireland last month, leading to speculation that former Fulham coach Coleman would resign despite taking the team to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“I don’t look at these two games as the end of anything, we will talk about my future after, it’s not the time now,” he told a press conference ahead of Friday’s game at the Stade de France.

“I have to prepare for this meeting, to make sure that we’ll be competitive.”

Wales fell short in their bid to reach a first World Cup since 1958, missing out on a play-off spot to Ireland in the absence of injured talisman Gareth Bale.

“It’s very difficult of course… We’re not qualified, but we only lost one match in 10 qualifying games,” Coleman added.

“There was strong expectation from the whole nation. We’re still hurting, that will hurt last for a long time, but we need to regain our concentration and momentum.”

Coleman will again have to make do without Real Madrid forward Bale in Paris, while Crystal Palace winger Jonny Williams has also withdrawn with injury.

“Tomorrow night’s team will be different to Tuesday, but it is an opportunity to give experience to the boys who need it,” he said. “These are two different games but both games are just as important to us.”

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