Coleman keen to avoid ‘prison camp feel’ for Wales

Date published: Wednesday 8th June 2016 11:09

Chris Coleman: Keen to ensure players are happy

Chris Coleman has allowed his Wales squad to wander around their Brittany base because he does not want them feeling like they are in a prison camp.

Wales have based themselves in Dinard for Euro 2016, a sleepy resort close to the port of St Malo on France’s northern coast.

The players have already been spotted out and about in Dinard, and Wales manager Coleman believes the sense of freedom will benefit them in the build-up to their Group B opener with Slovakia on Saturday.

“I don’t want them locked up,” said Coleman.

“I know what our group are like and locking them up is not for them, they are not used to it.

“For teams who have been in tournament football every time, it’s different for them.

“But if our guys want to go out and have a walk, have a coffee to escape the hotel environment, we haven’t got a problem with that.

“It’s not like a lock-down every day. It’s not like a prison camp.”

Coleman, however, stressed that the whereabouts of the players are known at all times.

“If a player leaves the hotel, we need to tell UEFA doping where they are within one hour,” said Coleman.

“So you need to knee where they are at all times. It’s just the way it is.”

The fitness of three players – Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu – has dominated Wales’ first appearance at a major tournament for 58 years.

Ledley has made a remarkable recovery from a broken leg he sustained playing for Crystal Palace on May 7.

Allen has had a knee problem since the end of the season, while Robson-Kanu picked up an ankle injury at Wales’ pre-Euros training camp in Portugal two weeks ago.

“We can’t start with all three, it would be reckless really,” said Coleman.

“They have done really well, but we don’t have to do that.

“Joe Ledley has done so well to get back to where he is, but I think it is fair to say you can’t really see him playing 90.

“But can he play a part? Yes. He is integrated with the rest of the team and done what the rest have done in training.”

Allen was a late substitute in Liverpool’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla on May 18, and is the most likely to start in Bordeaux on Saturday.

“Between now and the end of the season Joe has had more football, albeit on the training pitch,” said Coleman.

“He played a small part in the final.

“You would have to say Joe is further down the line in terms of being ready to start a game.

“And he is integral to how we want to play.

“He plays in that pivot role for us.”

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