Coleman: Now it's my way

First published in National Football South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

WALES boss Chris Coleman has vowed to do things his way as he gets ready for tonight’s boom or bust clash with Scotland.

Both sides know defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium in the World Cup qualifying contest spells curtains for their aspirations of reaching Brazil in 2016.

That has led to the match being dubbed as a battle of the bosses with both Coleman and counterpart Craig Levein likely to come under severe scrutiny if they are not victorious.

Coleman inherited a talented squad on the up following the management of his great friend Gary Speed.

But after five successive defeats he has admitted being forced to put his own stamp on things.

Coleman, whose first move was to change captain with Ashley Williams replacing Aaron Ramsey, says he has found it difficult to change from the late Speed’s style of doing things.

“As soon as I took the job, so much was said about keeping the same methods… and I agreed with a lot of it, because it was working,” he said.

“I said at the start, don’t fix it if it’s not broken but it’s four games in now and we haven’t won and haven’t gone forward. I have to change things, it’s my job to do that.

“I’ve changed the captain and made other subtle changes. Where we are, I wanted a more experienced captain and that’s what we have in Ashley Williams.

“The manner of the defeat to Serbia has made me make big decisions.

“When you are together for ten days in a camp it can get quite intense and I’ve reshuffled the way the week works.

“It is difficult to know if I should change some things done previously.

“If you try someone else’s jacket on and it doesn’t quite fit, what can you do?

“It was becoming counter productive, one or two of the players were saying ‘do things the same way’ but I think even they saw we needed to turn a corner.

“I’m happy with the way things have gone, speaking honestly I’ve felt inhibited.

“The situation (taking over after Gary Speed’s death) is one I’ve never been in before and never will again.

“The buck stops with me and I felt I needed to change things.

“I probably should have done it earlier but I think every manager would say it’s better to fall on your own sword.

“I feel more relaxed doing what I want to do and come what may, it’ll give me peace of mind.”

Coleman confessed the hurt from the 6-1 defeat last time out against Serbia hasn’t gone away.

“You never learn to deal with a defeat like that, when you are hit for six you can’t swallow it,” he said.

“It was a freak result, but it makes you stronger trying to bounce back from it.”

Coleman knows tonight represents a must-win game for both Wales and Scotland but insists he and rival Levein can handle the pressure.

“It doesn’t make it harder for us, the pressure on the game,” he said.

“We are both football people and big enough and ugly enough to accept the consequences of whether we win, lose or draw.

“But we have had a good week and feel we can get the right result.”

Coleman has been boosted by Gareth Bale training yesterday after a heel injury but revealed Celtic’s Adam Matthews is almost certainly out with an ankle problem.

The ex-Fulham boss also confirmed he knows which goalkeeper will start in the absence of Wayne Hennessey and Boaz Myhill... however, he chose not to disclose his number one.

Lewis Price, James Brown and Owain fon Williams are his options.

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