Coleman hopeful as Wales head to France

POSITIVE: Wales' Chris Gunter (in red) and Sweden's Forsberg (right) in action at the Friends Arena on Sunday.


    Jun 07, 2016

    Coleman hopeful as Wales head to France


    WALES manager Chris Coleman remains upbeat about his team's Euro 2016 chances ahead of their biggest game for 58 years despite a damaging 3-0 defeat in Sweden on Sunday.

    Wales travelled to France on Sunday night for the start of the European Championship on the back of a heavy loss in Stockholm.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up the opener for Emil Forsberg at the Friends Arena before Mikael Lustig and John Guidetti scored second-half goals.

    It was a convincing display from Sweden ahead of Euro 2016 while Coleman was content simply to be arriving at their training base in Brittany with a clean bill of health before facing Slovakia in Bordeaux next Saturday.

    Coleman said: "We're disappointed because know we can be better than that but in terms of the physical output, we got what we wanted. Everybody has walked off the pitch, that was the most important thing.

    However, Coleman must also nurse his players' confidence as well as their injuries.

    Despite the euphoria of qualifying and the excitement surrounding the presence of Champions League winner Gareth Bale, Wales have just one victory in seven games ahead of their first appearance at a major tournament since 1958.

    Coleman said: "At the moment, we're trying to get used to a situation we've never been in and leaving Cardiff (on Saturday) with all the celebrations. We're doing things we never normally do.

    "Having said that, I don't want to make any excuses. We are disappointed with this result and especially to concede three goals in the manner we did. But I would rather that happen now than when we get (to France) next week."

    Sweden will also head to France believing they have the quality to progress from a tough group that includes Italy, Belgium and Republic of Ireland.

    Manager Erik Hamren said: "It's a good win because Wales are a good team and I think they will do well at Euro 2016.

    "Zlatan didn't score today and that is unusual because he always seems to score. But he's important to the team and you saw that in the first goal. When we are under pressure and we play the long balls, he can keep it."

    Sweden open their tournament against Ireland at the Stade de France on June 13.