Coleman: Discipline key to Wales hopes

Former Fulham manager Chris Coleman believes that Wales must be disciplined if they are to get a result in their Euro 2012 qualifier against England on Saturday and insists that the whole team must step up in the absence of Gareth Bale.

Coleman, who won 32 caps for Wales, insists that the Dragons have a very talented group of players when all are fit and says they have the ability to pull off a famous victory if manager Gary Speed finds the right tactical balance.

“You can't go all gung-ho against a quality team like England because you will get beaten 5-0. You need to find that fine line," he told Yahoo!

"Tactically you have really got to get into the nitty-gritty with the players, telling them to concede possession in certain areas but once the ball is in a certain area then let everyone know where they have to be, literally go through all 11 players.

“That can be a bit boring for the players, but it can be very effective. They all know their jobs both individually and collectively, and when they get the ball on the counter-attack, they know how they can hurt the opposition. If Speedy can find that happy medium, then I'm sure we will be OK."

The pre-game talk has been of a ‘Golden Generation’ of Welsh players, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey the outstanding talents. But Coleman says the star duo will only shine if their team-mates carry the burden and show more pride in their performances when wearing the red shirt.

Coleman said: “Well, if there is to be a golden generation around the corner then Bale and Ramsey will be at the head of it. It's no good just talking about Bale, Ramsey and Craig Bellamy, the other player have got to step up. They need to have some pride in pulling on the Wales jersey and turning up for every game.”

There is a strong belief among Welsh football fans that Leicester midfielder Andy King could be another star for the national team and Coleman admits to being a fan of the player.

“I have been very impressed with Andy King, the Leicester midfielder. Sven-Goran Eriksson has been getting the best out of him. He plays that central midfield role very well, either in a flat two or as part of a three pushing forward and trying to run in behind the striker. He times his runs into the box very well.”

The match, which takes place at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, is expected to attract more than 70,000 spectators and Coleman expects a great atmosphere, though he doubts that will phase opponents England.

“It's a fantastic stadium. I would close the roof if I had my way, because then the atmosphere is trapped. Having played there with the roof closed over in front of a full house, I can tell you the atmosphere is absolutely electric," he said.

“The problem, of course, is that the England players are used to playing in the Premier League in these incredible atmospheres every week. They won't be intimidated by it. I think they will probably thrive on it, actually.”

Welsh football is looking to step out from the shadow of the more-successful rugby team and Coleman believes beating England would go a long way to achieving that.

“The last time we beat England at football was in 1984, so it's a rarity. I'm sure Wales have beaten England at rugby on numerous occasions since then. For us to beat England at football would be an amazing achievement.”

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By Matt Kenny