Coleman: ‘Our performance wasn’t the best’

Date published: Friday 7th October 2016 7:35

Sam Vokes: Wales not at their best

Wales manager Chris Coleman described his side’s 2-2 World Cup draw in Austria as a “point gained” despite losing the lead twice.

Joe Allen – who later limped off and is set to miss Sunday’s qualifier against Georgia in Cardiff – fired Wales ahead with a superb 22nd-minute strike and a Kevin Wimmer own goal made it 2-1 on the stroke of half-time.

But Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic scored twice for Austria and neither side could find a winner in the closing stages, with Wales even using long throws from Gareth Bale as an attacking option.

“Look at our performance, it wasn’t our best in terms of quality with the ball,” said Coleman as his side retained top spot in Group D.

“We gave away a lot of possession, made mistakes and looked indecisive. It’s not something you can say about this side on too many occasions.

“But to come here and take a point against a side who will be there or thereabouts is good.

“Whoever finishes above Austria will qualify. No team is unbeatable, but for us to come here and not bring our A game and get a point says a lot about this team.

“They showed their courage and it’s a point gained.”

Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey has yet to feature in this campaign because of a hamstring injury and Coleman now seems to have another midfield dilemma ahead of the Georgia game.

The influential Allen limped out of the action after 56 minutes with Coleman saying the Stoke midfielder felt a twinge in his hamstring.

“We could have gambled and kept him on, but we don’t want to do that,” Coleman said.

“He’ll be assessed over next 24 to 48 hours and it’s how he reacts, but if we see anything on the scan we won’t gamble.

“He is Stoke’s player and we have to respect that.

“We probably won’t have Joe (against Georgia) and we already don’t have ‘Rambo’ (Ramsey), but that’s how it is.

“Have we got enough without them? Yes, we have, so we won’t be making excuses.”

Wales’ second goal came from the confusion caused by a Bale long throw and Coleman said that was another tactic in their attacking armoury.

“Sometimes you’ve got find different ways,” Coleman said.

“I don’t think anyone expected that from Gareth, I don’t think the Austrians expected it, and we caused unrest in their defensive line from set-plays.

“They looked a little bit uneasy from Gareth’s long throws and you have to score all types of goals.

“I’ve been with Gareth for four or five years and that was the first time I’d known about his long throw, but it came off.”

Austria coach Marcel Koller felt twice cancelling out Wales’ lead showed the character of his side.

“It was a really good match against a strong enemy,” Koller said.

“Wales played compact in defence and were really dangerous in the offence.

“But Austria has grown up because we were behind twice and equalised, there was no haste in our play.

“There are still many difficult games ahead in this group and we need to be brave in Serbia on Sunday.”

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