Chris Coleman: Wales can recover from ‘blip’ against Georgia, says manager

Chris Coleman looks on as Wales draw with Georgia in Cardiff

Chris Coleman was appointed manager of Wales in 2012

Chris Coleman is confident his Wales side can recover from the “blip” of their home draw against Georgia.

The result – against opponents ranked 137th in the world – was a blow to Welsh hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

But manager Coleman was not overly critical of his side, whose next game is at home to Serbia on 12 November.

“We’ve just had a little slap around the back of the head to say: ‘Hold on, it’s not all plain sailing’,” he said.

“We looked fatigued, we looked disjointed. It’s not the end of the world, there’s a lot to play for, it’s only three games in.

“These next two games are great games, Serbia and Republic of Ireland [in March 2017] – they expect to be there or thereabouts, like us. So this is a nice little test for us actually.”

Wales looked set for a comfortable victory when Gareth Bale headed them into the lead after only 10 minutes at Cardiff City Stadium.


Tornike Okriashvili’s goal was the third conceded by Wales in two games

However, the hosts became lethargic and their apparent complacency proved costly as Georgia equalised and squandered several good chances to beat the European Championship semi-finalists.

“I’m not used to being disappointed at the end of 90 minutes with this lot,” Coleman said of his players.

“I’d have been amazed if we we’d gone through the campaign without a blip and without somebody giving you a little tap on the shoulder to just remind you how difficult it is at this level – we got one today for sure.”

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Wales defender Chris Gunter urges fans to stay with the team

Although this was only the second time Georgia had avoided defeat in a competitive away match since 2012, Coleman was measured in his response.

Wales are still unbeaten after three World Cup qualifiers, and the former Fulham manager believes his side can recover from this disappointment.

“If anybody can do it, it’s this team. I’ve got more confidence in this team than any other I’ve managed,” he added.

“We’ve grown accustomed to me being sat here super proud. I’m still proud but I know they can do a bit better.

“I won’t be too critical of them because a whole nation is proud of them, but we’ve got to keep pushing them because they want that anyway.”

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