Monday 16 July 2018

Wales manager Chris Coleman expecting 'lots of contact' in crunch World Cup clash with Ireland

24 March 2017; Wales manager Chris Coleman ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 March 2017; Wales manager Chris Coleman ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Wales coach Chris Coleman maintains that the controversial leg break suffered by Seamus Coleman in the last meeting between Wales and the Republic of Ireland will have no bearing on tomorrow's big clash in Cardiff.

Wales and Ireland square up at a sold-out Cardiff City Stadium looking for a win to keep them in with a chance of a place in the playoffs or even the opportunity to qualify automatically, should Serbia lose at home to Georgia.

Ireland have really missed captain Coleman since his leg was broken by Neil Taylor and while the Irish players have spoken of their desire to get to the World Cup for their captain's sake, his namesake his tried to play down the issue.

"I don't think that will have a bearing on tomorrow night," Chris Coleman said at his pre-match press conference in Cardiff.

"You have two sets of committed players, lots of contact I would imagine, our players know that.

"It was a physical game out there [Dublin], it was unfortunate with Seamus and Tayls, it was a horrible situation, for Seamus mainly, but it's good to see he is back and not far off, Ashley Williams speaks very highly of him.

"For us, there won't be a mention of it at all. I have no idea how the Republic of Ireland are feeling or looking at it, but there won't be talk from out, it's all about the future, Ireland on Monday is the future for us."

Wales are on the verge of qualification for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 but Coleman has stressed the need to focus on the future, not the past.

"They [Ireland] will be asking strong questions of us but we have to focus on us," he said.

"I won't be talking about 1958. I will say: this is what we are up against, this is what we have to do to be successful now go our and enjoy it."

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