Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen to miss Wales qualifiers
Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen are set to miss Wales` upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus in Cardiff, manager Chris Coleman said Wednesday.
London: Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen are set to miss Wales` upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus in Cardiff, manager Chris Coleman said Wednesday.
The pair will be sidelined for the game against the Bosnians on October 10 and Cyprus three days` later.
Arsenal rising star Ramsey damaged a hamstring in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and has been ruled out for the next four weeks.
Meanwhile Liverpool`s Allen has not played since Wales` opening Euro 2016 victory in Andorra on September 9 following a hernia operation.
"We`ve got used to being without players who everyone talks about being the main boys," Coleman said after naming a 26-man squad for the two matches, which will both take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.
"I`ve never had them altogether and we`re also without David Vaughan and Andy Crofts, so that`s four out of that midfield area.
"It`s disappointing when you lose players of the calibre of Aaron and Joe, but I`ve got confidence in those boys to come in and do a job for us.
"I`m still excited going into it because these are two huge games."
Wales, who have not played in a major tournament finals since the 1958 World Cup, came under fire after struggling to see off lowy Andorra -- ranked 199th in the world -- 2-1 in their opening qualifier courtesy of two goals from Real Madrid star Gareth Bale last month. Most of the flak that was flying came Coleman`s way but the former Wales international said the criticism was no surprise as far as he was concerned.
"I knew what this job entailed when I walked through the door because of the nature of me getting it.
"So we win and it`s got nothing to do with me. We lose and it`s got everything to do with me.
"But that`s never worried me and I`m not bothered by that.
"Certain people will always concentrate on the negatives because they`ve said so much in the last two years it`s difficult for them to go back on that.
"I won`t even try to win them over, I really couldn`t give a monkey`s about them. All I care about is the players and our supporters who follow us home and away.
"They`re the only people that matter to me, everything else outside is noise which I don`t listen to."
Wales have lost only once in six games during the past 12 months, a 2-0 June defeat by a Netherlands side which eventually finished third at the World Cup in Brazil.
Now Wales are 29th in FIFA`s world rankings, an impressive rise given they were 82nd as recently as December 2012.
"Results don`t lie," Coleman said. "We`re 29th in the FIFA rankings which has been the highest we`ve been for 20 years and we`re 20th in the UEFA rankings.
"Where are we meant to be? I don`t know. Was I coming in and taking over a country that has repeatedly qualified for major tournaments? No.
"I don`t know what the expectations are to be honest. All I know is that we`ve got a good group of committed players and we`re on the right road.
"Two years ago I said we`ve got to climb the rankings and we`ve done that.
"We`re still doing it, it`s not finished yet."