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Saunders: 'Coleman could quit Wales post'


Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman

Former Wales striker Dean Saunders says his country will struggle to hang on to Chris Coleman after their startling run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and believes the manager could be tempted away soon.

The Welsh, appearing in their first major tournament finals since 1958, exceeded their wildest dreams by reaching the last four in France earlier this month before being beaten 2-0 by eventual winners Portugal. "I don't know if the FA are going to be able to keep hold of Chris, I think someone will probably snap him up soon," Saunders said.

"Right now his stock is high so I wouldn't be surprised if he has had offers to go to a Premier League club or to go abroad. I'd imagine that's what is probably happening as we speak." Coleman had spells in charge of English clubs Fulham and Coventry City, Spain's Real Sociedad and Greek side Larissa before taking the reins at his national team in 2012. Saunders, who won 75 caps for Wales between 1986-2001, regards the job of an international manager as "strange" and may be missing the day to day involvement of club football.

"You don't get much time with the players, you're not on the training ground every day and that's the best bit about being a manager," the 52-year-old explained.

"No hassle, just watching the boys playing football and Chris is probably missing that a bit.

"Chris is 46 so he's had a few jobs. He's got some right and he's got some wrong but he's done great with what he's had at Wales so he gets all the credit from me.

"He got his tactics right at the Euros, he made substitutions that came off, he left players out and still won," said Saunders.

"He played Sam Vokes up front in some games and Hal Robson-Kanu in others, his team selections were all spot on." Saunders added Wales' displays at the European Championship had made people sit up and take notice ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers where they will face Ireland, Serbia, Austria, Georgia and Moldova.

"It's going to be difficult to get through World Cup qualifying, teams aren't going to want to play us," explained Saunders.

"Even the smaller teams like Moldova are not 'rollovers' any more."