Speed’s dad pleads for Welsh pa­tience

WALES v SCOT­LAND Group A – Fri­day, 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY OCTOBER 11 -

GARY SPEED’S dad has pleaded with Wales fans to get be­hind un­der-fire Chris Cole­man – in the name of his tragic son.

Cole­man’s job as na­tional boss is in dan­ger af­ter a string of dodgy re­sults, and it could be the end of the line if the Dragons are downed by Scot­land in their cru­cial World Cup head-to-head.

A third straight qual­i­fy­ing de­feat will all but see off Wales’ hopes of mak­ing it to the 2014 fi­nals in Brazil – just a month into the new in­ter­na­tional cam­paign.

But Roger Speed, dad of much-missed ex-Wales boss Gary, wants Cole­man to be given time to turn things around in mem­ory of the for­mer Leeds and New­cas­tle star who took his own life last year. He said: “Get be­hind Chris Cole­man. For me and Gary, please get be­hind him.

“Some Welsh sup­port­ers can be a lit­tle fickle be­cause things aren’t go­ing well. But it’s no good sack­ing him or get­ting rid of him. Get be­hind him in­stead.”

Cole­man – a close friend and for­mer team-mate of Speed, who was found hanged at his home 11 months ago aged 42 – in­her­ited a Wales side that had won four out of five games un­der their late boss in 2011.

But the new man has had a night­mare start, los­ing all four games he’s taken charge of – in­clud­ing a six-goal ham­mer­ing by Ser­bia – to put his job on the line amid ru­mours of dress­ing room un­rest.

Speed Snr, though, in­sists it’s time to stick with the for­mer Ful­ham and Coven­try boss.

Camp

He added: “I wouldn’t like the job he’s got to do to take over af­ter Gary be­cause Gary was do­ing an ab­so­lute tremen­dous job. I re­ally, re­ally feel for Chris.”

Scot­land’s start to the cam­paign isn’t much bet­ter than win­less Wales, with Craig Levein’s troops al­ready a tar­get for the boo-boys af­ter claim­ing just two points from two home games.

But the Scots camp in­sists it isn’t win or bust at the Cardiff City Sta­dium.

Scot­land face a tough trip to Bel­gium four days af­ter their date in Cardiff, and Levein’s No.2 Peter Hous­ton said: “There are three points up for grabs and we’ll try to get them.

“I wouldn’t put any tar­gets on how many points we’re go­ing to get out of these next two games.”

Celtic skip­per Scott Brown in­sists he will be fit de­spite the no-non­sense mid­fielder suf­fer­ing from a hip prob­lem.

GIVE HIM A CHANCE: Roger Speed has backed Cole­man, who suc­ceeded his late son Gary NO TAR­GETS: Peter Hous­ton HARD­LINE: Tra­p­at­toni

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