WALES stand on the verge of international football oblivion.

Defeat or even a draw at the hands of Poland at the Millennium Stadium tonight will finish off all hopes of qualifying for the World Cup or even making the play-offs, simple as that.

This would send Wales back into the football wilderness which Mark Hughes worked so hard to get them out of.

The next major event is Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland and the qualifiers don't start until late 2006, when a large chunk of the current squad will be picking up their pipes and slippers - and there is hardly a conveyor belt of talent coming through.

This campaign really is the last-chance saloon for the current crop and tonight's match is pivotal.

Nobody really expected Wales to beat England, so the Old Trafford debacle must be forgotten and Poland MUST be taken care of.

Victory, and Wales are back in the hunt for a play-off berth and a quality new boss will welcome the challenge. Defeat or a draw and big name candidates will scarper faster than you can say Azerbaijan.

If this squad don't get to a major championship finals, it could be 20 years before Wales get another chance. Just look at Scotland.

Even with poor squads, they made Euro 96 and World Cup 98 which is more that Wales have managed. But they are now so far out in the wilderness it would take a NASA satellite to locate them on the football map.

This is the scenario facing Wales unless they can get back on track with a win tonight.

There will be more than 50,000 passionate fans behind the team, wanting to give Mark Hughes the perfect send off and the new boss the perfect platform to build on.

It doesn't matter how it is achieved, three points are an absolute must or else the last person out of the Millennium Stadium can turn off the lights.