'Little country' Wales keeping feet on ground
17 November 2014, 11:02
Brussels - Chris Coleman insists Wales will not get carried away despite claiming a valuable point in a 0-0 draw against Belgium to edge closer towards 2016 European Championship qualification.
Wales remain unbeaten in four games after keeping out the fourth-best team in the world in Brussels.
But although Wales moved to eight points in Group B, manager Coleman, who hailed the performance as "courageous", is keeping his feet firmly on the ground with six more qualifiers still to play as they bid to reach a major tournament finals for the first time since 1958.
Asked if there is any danger of over-confidence in his ever-improving squad, Coleman said: "No. If you're a Welshman, you never get too confident.
"We've always been a little country that's never done much and when we've promised to do something we've never done it.
"There are six games to play and that's a lot of points and teams will be chasing us down. But we're definitely on the right track.
"Pity the teams that don't take us seriously. We're in there. We've played two of the best teams home and away (Bosnia and Belgium) and got two clean sheets, two draws. Teams need to take us seriously because we're serious about qualifying.
"We know there is a lot of hard work to qualify, Belgium are still the favourites but we're in the mix.
"If we're serious about doing something in this campaign, you have to come to places like this and get something.
"I think maybe 18 months ago we would have buckled in a game like that but we didn't. We have grown as a team. We have a better understanding of the game at this level.
"At international level if you're half a yard short or too slow they punish you, so we've got better at that. We were stubborn and it was a courageous performance."
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Wales' spirit was symbolised by Gareth Bale's last-gasp goal-line clearance which ensured Coleman's men did not return home empty-handed.
Coleman added: "We can't expect to lean on Bale every game to get us something. Tonight was a night where Aaron (Ramsey) and Gareth had to defend a lot and they did.
"Everyone had to roll their sleeves up and do a job that they didn't want to do and Bale epitomised that by being back there and kicking it off the line."
Real Madrid star Bale said: "It's a fantastic result. I think coming to the home of a team that is fourth in the world is a fantastic performance. We will take a point.
"I think we started a bit slow, but the football we showed in the second half we showed a bit of character and true courage -- that's massive for us.
"You have to do those things (clearing the ball off the line). Everyone will do everything and we all work for each other."
Wales now face group rivals Israel in March and Coleman added: "I'm disappointed that there is no game until March. When you come away to Belgium and get something, you want it to be a double-header with another game in four days."