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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Senior players urge Chris Coleman to stay as Wales manager despite World Cup heartache

Defender Chris Gunter has urged FAW to tie manager to long-term contract after 1-0 defeat to Republic of Ireland ended hopes of qualifying for Russia 2018

Chris Coleman is leaving his Wales job to manage Sunderland. Stu Forster / Getty Images
Chris Coleman is leaving his Wales job to manage Sunderland. Stu Forster / Getty Images

Chris Coleman has met senior players and has been urged to stay on as Wales manager despite the failure to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in Russia.

It is understood Coleman met with key players - including the injured Gareth Bale - at the team hotel following their 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Monday night.

The squad have given their unanimous support to Coleman and it is also understood that the Football Association of Wales is hoping Coleman extends his near six-year stay at the helm.

Coleman said in the immediate aftermath of the Ireland defeat that he would hold talks with the FAW over his future.

Those talks are set to take place in the next few weeks.

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Coleman said after Wales had reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 that the 2018 World Cup campaign would be his last in charge.

But his stance appears to have softened in the past 12 months and Coleman could be open to the idea of changing his mind and leading Wales into the Euro 2020 campaign.

He certainly has the backing of his players with defender Chris Gunter calling for the FAW to "give him a really good contract and make him stay".

"I think everyone in Wales, fans and players, would want to see him stay on - 100 per cent," Gunter said.

"He's been a massive part of what we've done and he is the man to hopefully take us forward.

"If the powers that be can give him a really good contract and make him stay, he can carry on being the greatest Welsh manager of all time."

Coleman became Wales manager in January 2012 following the death of his friend Gary Speed.

The former Fulham and Real Sociedad manager endured a tough start to his reign with a 6-1 defeat in Serbia the low point of a miserable 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.

But Coleman turned around Wales' fortunes in dramatic fashion in Euro 2016 qualification.

Wales qualified for their first major tournament in 58 years - and then made it all the way to the semi-finals in France.

"We want him to stay because what he's given this nation is something that's never been done before," Gunter said.

"The message from the whole squad would be that we want him to sign a new contract."

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