Players back Chris Coleman, says Gunter
NEWPORT defender Chris Gunter says the Wales players are all fully behind under-fire national manager Chris Coleman.
Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium combined with Scotland’s win in Macedonia left Wales bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.
The players were greeted by boos at the final whistle and chants of ‘we want Coleman out’ were heard during the second half.
Coleman also revealed after the match that Gunter’s fellow Newport-born defender James Collins had refused to be part of the squad for Tuesday’s match or the 2-1 defeat in Macedonia last Friday.
But with the manager set to sign a new contract with the Football Association of Wales, Gunter says Coleman also has the support of his players.
“It’s disappointing to lose 3-0. It’s never nice to give away a goal early and from then on it was tough,” said the Reading full-back.
“It was not a great evening but there’s so much gone on and there are a lot of things fans don’t know about.
“You have to be careful when you’re asking for things like that [Coleman’s sacking].
“If we’d capitalised on our good display in Macedonia and won that game you wouldn’t have heard anything but the way football is now one result can change people’s attitudes drastically.
“The manager has been great for us and I didn’t hear them but if there were chants like that then there’s no place for that.”
But Gunter does concede that Wales have underachieved in this group and left plenty of room for improvement as they look towards the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
“This campaign has been up and down for us,” admitted Gunter. “We haven’t done anywhere near as well as we should have and we need to finish strongly in the last two games.
“Finishing bottom would be bad and if you’re not going to qualify then you have to aim to finish as high as you can and go into the next campaign on a high.
“We need to give ourselves a chance from the beginning and make sure we’re in the group for longer.”
And with Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale returning to action as a substitute against Serbia, Gunter believes that Wales do have the players to improve.
“When someone like that comes on it injects life into the crowd,” he said. “Obviously it wasn’t half full again and when you give an early goal away it deflates everyone and the atmosphere was really quiet until Gareth came on.
“When we get him on the pitch and the other lads we’re missing as well we are a much better team.”