Coleman praises quality of his squad
International
5 October 2017

Coleman praises quality of his squad

Chris Coleman heaped praise on the quality of his squad as Wales prepare to face Georgia in Tbilisi on Friday.

Georgia v Wales

2018 FIFA World Cup - European Qualifiers 

  • Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi
  • Friday, 6 October, KO 17:00
  • Live coverage: Sky Sports, S4C, BBC Radio Wales/Cymru
  • Follow updates on FA Wales Twitter & Facebook

Coleman’s side head to the Boris Paichadze Stadium as qualifying for next summer’s World Cup reaches its penultimate round of matches.

Wales currently sit second in Group D, a point ahead of third-placed Republic of Ireland – who they meet in Cardiff on Monday – and four points adrift of group leaders Serbia.

However, the visitors are without Gareth Bale who misses the game through injury, but Coleman believes the squad he has at his disposal are more than capable of getting the right result.

“It’s just unfortunate and bad timing but it can’t be helped,” said the Wales boss. “But there’s no excuses from us, the quality we have in the squad is good enough to compete with anyone.

“We’ve always had a game plan and that isn’t going to change. We have young and talented players on the bench and we are still in a very good position.

“The youngsters are very talented and have shown potential. I’m confident in all of them and they are here on merit.”

Wales are also searching for a first-ever victory over Georgia, with the two teams having met on four previous occasions.

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Vladimir Weiss’s men claimed a deserved 1-1 draw in Cardiff in the return fixture last autumn, while Wale will be hoping to banish the ghosts of their last visit to Tbilisi in November 1994 when the home side ran out 5-0 winners in a Euro 96 qualifier.

“They are a good team,” said Coleman, who played for Wales on that dismal night in 1994. “They could have beaten us in Cardiff and on the balance of play in the second half they were better.

“They came under the radar a little in this group but not anymore. They have nothing to lose and I expect them to play like they have done throughout the campaign so far, with lots of quality and plenty of pride and passion too.”

Meanwhile, captain Ashley Williams was full of praise for the young players who have arrived in the Welsh squad in recent months.

Teenager Ben Woodburn announced himself on the international stage in style last month with the winner over Austria, while David Brooks, Ryan Hedges, Chris Maxwell and Ethan Ampadu have all won their first senior call-ups in that time.

“The future of the Wales team looks good,” said the skipper. “All the young lads have been great, they are very polite and as captain I’ve been really pleased with them.

“We’ve all got a job to do and we have an important game we need to win. We have the game plan and we will stick to it, work hard and try to win the game.

“But if we win the game it will be because of the team. We have confidence in whoever comes in and it will be the team that gets the win if that’s the case.”