Coleman: No reason to fear Portugal05/07/2016
Chris Coleman has urged his Wales players not be “blinded by the lights” of facing Portugal in their Euro 2016 semi-final on Wednesday.
Having waited 58 years to reappear at a major tournament, Wales now stand 90 minutes away from contesting a final.
Coleman revealed there have been no shackles on his players from the moment they arrived in France and he says that must continue against Portugal. He wants to see Wales seize the moment in Lyon.
“It’s new territory. You will either be blinded by the lights and crawl back to where you came from, or have belief in yourself and stand up for your identity,” Coleman told reporters.
“You spend too much time thinking about what you don’t want to happen rather than concentrating on what you want to happen. The message has been no fear, there’s nothing to be afraid of. “We screamed long and hard to be at a major tournament, and as soon as we got here the handcuffs were off. We’re not restricted.”
Wales showed their resolve in the quarter-final, recovering from the concession of an early goal against Belgium to run out 3-1 winners with goals from skipper Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes.
Coleman however must plan for Portugal without the services of two of his key players in Aaron Ramey and Ben Davies, both of whom are suspended for the last-four encounter. The Welsh boss feels their replacements will have little trouble coming into the starting team.
“I have no worries about whoever steps in. I don’t worry about these players because they know the drill, what’s expected of them, the game plan that won’t change,” he said. Wales are 4.00 to beat Portugal in 90 minutes while they are now 9.00 to win Euro 2016.