‘Golden Generation’ tag earned by Wales
WORLD CUP: Manager Chris Coleman has challenged Wales’s ‘Golden Generation’ to make more history in their pursuit of glory.
Second-placed Wales can still win Group D – and automatic qualification to next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia – if they overcome the Republic of Ireland tonight and leaders Serbia fail to beat Georgia at home.
But it is more likely that Wales and the Republic will be contesting second spot and the right to feature in next month’s play-offs.
It is an opportunity that Coleman does not intend to spurn as players who have long been labelled the ‘Golden Generation’ attempt to follow reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016 by securing the nation’s first appearance at a World Cup for 60 years.
“The players have proven this is a golden era,” Coleman said ahead of the Cardiff clash.
“They were labelled the golden bunch of players before we qualified for the Euros.
“I fought against that because they hadn’t earned that tag, but they’ve earned that now. This group of players have made the difference.
“They’ve gone one step further than anyone else that has gone before them, but that’s in the past as well.
“Whatever we’ve done, we’ve done and it won’t help us (tonight).
“We can’t be thinking that we’ve done really well, it’s gone.
“But if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, that will give us a great chance of having a good night.”
Welsh fans have called on Coleman’s squad to rekindle the so-called ‘Spirit of ‘58’ ahead of their final group game.
The 1958 tournament in Sweden was the only previous time that Wales have reached the World Cup finals, making it all the way to the quarter-finals before losing 1-0 to Brazil.