Chris Coleman states focus on upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Wales coach Chris Coleman said that his focus is on guiding his nation through the qualifiers for Russia 2018 World Cup and not his long-term future.

Coleman, 46, has a contract extending until after the 2018 World Cup but has been linked with the immediate vacancy at Crystal Palace after hinting that he would leave if Wales loses ground in the qualifiers.

Wales are currently third in Group D of the European qualifiers, four points behind leaders Serbia whom they will play against in their next qualifier on 11 June. They are also without suspended players Gareth Bale and Neil Taylor, and will be reduced to 23 for the trip to Belgrade.

“I said if it comes to a point and we cannot affect our future, I need to sit down with the powers that be,” he said.

However, when asked if he was angled for a return to his former club Crystal Palace, Coleman, who recently received an OBE at Buckhingham Palace joked: “I would love to go back to the Palace — I am not sure Prince Charles is just ready for me yet.”

“All I care about now is Wales. I don’t think about after Serbia. I cannot afford to think past one game.”

“Lots of things have been said on the back of comments I said at the start of the campaign when I signed a new contract. That hasn’t happened yet.”

“But honestly I cannot go into a game of football thinking ‘if we lose’ because then I will have lost, we will have lost and I have never thought like that.”

“When it comes that we cannot (qualify) — if it comes that we cannot — then there is a conversation to be had. But I think we will. I am confident we will.”

“I know it’s a huge task for us. I still have the same excitement to do the job. I still have the same belief in the players and the team.”

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