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Wales striker Sam Vokes says squad wants boss Chris Coleman to stay

Sam Vokes has underlined the Wales squad’s desire for Chris Coleman to stay as manager and put World Cup anguish behind them.

Coleman’s future remains uncertain ahead of friendlies against France in Paris on Friday and at home to Panama four days later.

It remains to be seen whether these two games will mark the end of Coleman’s near six-year reign, with talks between the manager and the Football Association of Wales over a new contract set to resume later this month.

???????????????????????????? It's been a busy day for the Wales squad with training and media duties. #FRAWAL#TogetherStrongerpic.twitter.com/fJa4f3rVDq

— Wales (@FAWales) November 7, 2017

But Wales and Burnley forward Vokes – who confirmed players tried to persuade Coleman to stay on after last month’s defeat to the Republic of the Ireland eliminated the Dragons from the World Cup – said the squad is united behind the former Fulham and Real Sociedad boss.

“The gaffer has been huge for us, personally for me and for the team,” Vokes said.

“He’s brought the country on massively, you saw where we were when we started out and what we achieved last summer (when Wales reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016).

“Although we didn’t qualify for the World Cup we were right in it until the end, and that’s something we’ve not been used to for a long time.

#TogetherStronger

The @FAWales 2018 home kit. Out now ????

iTunes: https://t.co/sFWRyV3c2F
Google Play: https://t.co/WW7rMEpzDQpic.twitter.com/PWMDB5lWIr

— JD Football (@JDFootball) November 7, 2017

“We love working with him and I’ve spoken to a few of the lads (about Coleman’s situation).

“We’ve enjoyed success under the manager so we’d like him to stay.

“There’s a lot said about players who don’t want to play for the manager, but we want to play for ours and that shows on the pitch.”

The squad – minus injured Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale – linked up on Monday ahead of Wales’ first game against France since 1982.

Gareth Bale will once again be missing for Wales because of injury
Gareth Bale will once again be missing for Wales because of injury (David Davies/PA)

But asked if it felt like a “final camp” with uncertainty surrounding Coleman’s future, Vokes replied: “No, not at all. We’ve trained as normal and are preparing for the game on Friday.

“We just go out on the pitch and work hard for the manager, that’s what I’ve always done and will continue to do so.

“We all enjoy coming on camps, we want to be here to play and fight for Wales.

“We’re good mates on and off the field and that feeling starts with the manager.”

Burnley striker Vokes admitted his World Cup despair was not helped when he returned to training at Turf Moor.

???????????????????????????? The Wales squad were on the training pitch after assembling for the upcoming matches against France and Panama #TogetherStrongerpic.twitter.com/rPykVt4OLw

— Wales (@FAWales) November 6, 2017

Republic quartet Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ward are all Clarets’ team-mates and enjoyed the moment.

“I was getting over it until I saw the Irish lads back in training,” Vokes said.

“I’m very jealous of them going into that play-off as I would love to have been there, but I wish them the best in those games.

“We’ve got two good games now and it is a chance for us to build for the Euros.

“We’ve got that hunger from France last year and we want to get to another tournament again.”

Source: By PA Sport Staff

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