A date with destiny for Wales

Rather than dwelling on and becoming dispirited by losing 2-1 to England due to conceding an injury time goal, the Welsh management team and players have chosen instead to focus upon galvanising themselves for their final Group C game against Russia.

Anguish, hurt and pain was etched across the face of every Welshman, and woman, inside the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, after Daniel Sturridge scored for England in the 92nd minute to consign Wales to a cruel defeat.

Nevertheless since leaving the field in Lens, despite being extremely disappointed by the defeat, Wales have remained in high spirits and positive mood, as expressed by the team’s star man Gareth Bale.

“Obviously after the England game we were very disappointed, especially to lose a late goal. But we had a chat straight away. Now we have to forget about it.   It’s over.”

The chat to which Bale refers was instigated by captain Ashley Williams. The Swansea defender assembled the Welsh players into a circle in front of the Welsh supporters to deliver a motivational speech, which expressed the need for them all to be proud of their efforts during the game and focus upon recovering from the defeat.

Positively responding to disappointment is a big test for any team and one which Wales will look to pass by performing to the best of their ability against Russia in their final Group C game.

Whereas a win would definitely secure Wales’ place in the last 16, a draw may also prove sufficient, whilst even if beaten by Russia Chris Coleman‘s side could advance to the knockout-stages. To do so however, they would be relying upon other results going in their favour.

Ultimately however, Wales’ destiny is in their own hands and the team’s focus is solely upon grasping that, so as to write another chapter in their wonderful European Championship journey to date. Joe Allen, one of the team’s stand-out performers in their first two games in France, confirmed Wales’ playing approach against Russia will be as positive as it possibly can be given the magnitude of the occasion.

“It’s a difficult one. It’s one where people think if you set up just to cling on to that point it can often be the downfall of teams. That won’t be our approach, but it is one where we want to make sure we are more in control of how we go about our performance. Performing well is first and foremost what we want to do, because we know when the focus is on doing that then the results come with it.” 

As such given the level of positive feeling and morale within the Welsh camp, combined with manager Coleman having a fully fit squad from which to choose for the game against Russia, his team’s chances of advancing to the last 16 appear to be very healthy.

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