Friday, March 31, 2023

Wales coach Coleman dismisses ‘lucky’ jibe


Cardiff, Oct 6 (IANS) Wales coach Chris Coleman has dismissed his Austrian counterpart Marcel Koller’s claim that Wales were “lucky” to reach the 2016 Euro semi-finals.

Koller made the comment ahead of Austria’s World Cup qualifier against Wales in Vienna on Thursday late night, according to a BBC report.

“A lot of teams went into the tournament with big reputations but couldn’t handle the pressure — our players handled the pressure,” said Coleman on Wednesday.

“I wouldn’t put our semi-final achievement down to luck.”

The Wales manager added: “We had a little bit of luck here and there, we had bad luck, like everything else. The reason for our achievements is because we’re a good team.”

Despite an impressive 2016 Euro qualifying campaign in which Austria won nine and drew one of their 10 games, Koller’s men were knocked out of the tournament itself in the group stage.

In the 2018 World Cup qualifying, Austria are second in Group D and having won 2-1 in Georgia in their first game, they trail top plaved and current leaders Wales only on goal difference.

Coleman’s side opened their campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Moldova, their first competitive game since reaching the semi-finals of 2016 Euro.

“Sometimes you need to be lucky as well. That is what we could see at Euro 2016 — Wales were very lucky sometimes,” Koller said on Wednesday.

“During the Euros they were lucky that a match did not turn in another direction. I think that helped the Welsh team get a really good portion of self-confidence.”

“Nobody really expected the Welsh team to be in the semi-finals before the Euros,” he added.

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