‘Golden Gen­er­a­tion’ tag earned by Wales

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

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.

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