Chris Coleman will take time to consider his future as Wales manager after suffering a ‘devastating’ defeat to Republic of Ireland that ended his country’s World Cup hopes.
Ireland pulled off a famous 1-0 win to keep their own ambitions alive on a night when Wales failed to fire and Coleman admitted he now has a decision to make.
The 47-year-old had said this would be his last campaign but hinted at a possible U-turn and admitted he could stay on. Wales have arranged a friendly next month and Coleman’s current contract runs until next summer.
Wales’ World Cup dream is over following defeat by Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium
Chris Coleman has admitted he may leave his role as manager of the Welsh national team
‘There’s a chance I can stay and a chance I won’t,’ he said. ‘I can’t give an answer right now.
‘It’s not just a matter of signing a new contract. The FAW have been great with me. I asked them to leave me alone as my contract has been running down and all the questions were getting asked. I wanted to concentrate on getting results.
‘There’ll be a conversation in due course, there’s a friendly next month. My contract is till the summer. But right now, I’m thinking about the experience. I’ll go back to my family and take a bit of time. When the dust settles we’ll see where we go.’
James McClean fired Republic of Ireland into a World Cup play-off spot in Cardiff
Having seen his team fail to perform and lose to James McClean’s second-half strike, Coleman added: ‘If you ask any manager after a defeat, you want to be as far away from it as you can. It’s six years I’ve been in charge, or coming up to it at Christmas time. I can’t say right now about my future because I’m genuinely not thinking about it.
‘There’s a dressing room full of devastated players and staff. The whole nation will be mourning because again that elusive World Cup has passed us by this time.
‘But I genuinely believe if you look at the make-up of our squad, and some of the young ones coming through, this is a good group of players, even better for tonight. Defeat hurts but you learn a lot from defeat.
The devastation was plain to see on the faces of Coleman’s Wales players at full-time
‘I am absolutely gutted we haven’t made it. But it’s not my first disappointment in life and probably wont be my last.’
Wales started brightly but faded badly after Joe Allen went off on the half hour with concussion following a collision involving McClean and David Meyler. Coleman suggested Ireland had targeted the Stoke midfielder.
‘Joe has concussion, he took a whack,’ said Coleman. ‘I said it would be physical, we weren’t disappointed. If he was targeted they’ve done a good job. It’s a typical game of football. No complaints. Good luck to them, they’ve won it and I hope they go and qualify.’