Chris Coleman eyes successful 'last hit' with Wales at World Cup

Chris Coleman eyes successful 'last hit' with Wales at World Cup

Wales coach Chris Coleman says the 2018 World Cup campaign will be his last in the job as he looks to build on his side's run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

Cardiff came to a standstill on Friday as an estimated 200,000 people packed the streets of the Welsh capital to recognise the achievements of Coleman's squad.

And there were over 30,000 at the Cardiff City Stadium - Wales' home ground - where the Manic Street Preachers performed and the squad were introduced on to the pitch.

Coleman praised the players and the supporters for taking Wales to new heights, his side surpassing the achievement of the 1958 side which reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The Wales manager quickly turned his attention to his "last hit at it" in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, which starts at home to Moldova on September 5.

"We know if we give our nation something to be proud of, this is the end result," said Coleman.

"But we are in the middle of something, not the end.

"We need that little bit of luck, the same hunger and desire and good things will happen."

Coleman has been linked with other roles at club and international level, dismissing media questions during the tournament on the vacant England manager's job and the possibility of succeeding Marc Wilmots after his side eliminated Belgium.

He remains committed to Wales for the duration of his contract but said: "I am sure this will be my last campaign whether we qualify or not.

"That will be six years in the job, which is a long time. This will be my last hit at it, so I will give it my best shot.

"But I would not consider going anywhere else. I want to see this through. There's loads of work to be done with this team. I'll give everything I've got in this next campaign."

Coleman wants those World Cup qualifiers to take place at Cardiff City Stadium despite increased interest in the national team.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford says the 72,500-capacity Principality Stadium is an option, while admitting that the ground's rugby commitments mean it is not "available to us for every single match".

The players are also known to enjoy playing at Cardiff City Stadium and Coleman said: "We could gamble and go back there (Principality Stadium).

"It is a magnificent stadium, we know that, we could get another 20,000 maybe, but we made a choice.

"I'd rather be playing at Cardiff City Stadium where there's 30,000 screaming Taffs breathing down the opposition's neck, and our boys feeding off that."

For now, however, the Wales squad are basking in their Euros success and an open top bus parade which will be remembered for many years to come.

Striker Gareth Bale paid tribute to the fans by saying their support had helped the team "move on to the next level".

And, after annoying the England camp during the Euros by claiming that Wales had more pride and passion than their neighbours, the Real Madrid star could not resist one final quip.

"To get a welcome like this was incredible. It shows how amazing our fans are," said Bale.

"The support we've had has given us that extra confidence to move on to the next level. We knew what we were capable of after getting to France, we said we didn't want to make the numbers up.

"We wanted to give it a real go - and we got ahead of the English!"


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