Euro 2016: Allen set to start for Wales against Slovakia, says Coleman

Posted June 22, 2016

Wales stand on the brink of history with the sense of anticipation around the squad palpable on the eve of their first match at a major tournament for 58 years.

Chris Coleman has called on his Wales players to rediscover the ruthlessness that helped them qualify for Euro 2016 as they seek the best possible start against Slovakia today. "We know where their strengths are and where their weaknesses are". "It's something we've dreamed about", he said.

"They have done really well, but we don't have to do that".

"It's not the time to sit back and enjoy the moment".

"We have fun at the same time".

England are favourites to advance to the next stage of the competition, though Wales, who are playing in their first major tournament since 1958, could cause major upsets.

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Slovakia, by contrast, played at a major worldwide tournament as recently as the 2010 World Cup, but both sides are about to make their first appearance at the finals of a European Championship.

Hamsik said: "Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world, I would not like to compare with him". We are determined to go there and not get rolled over.

He added: "To be here now I think we appreciate it more than other countries".

The Zenit player, who has just two caps to his name, was on holiday in Monte Carlo when he was given the call to replace the injured Igor Denisov, and was so genuinely unprepared that he didn't even have his football boots with him.

The Welsh have hit a bit of bad form with just one win in their last seven matches.

"The fact we're at a tournament is the icing on the cake".

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Wales were resilient during their campaign, conceding four goals in 10 games, to grind out results - but since beating Andorra in October have lost to Holland, Ukraine and Sweden, drawing with Northern Ireland. We're together stronger -- we don't just say it for no reason.

"And he is integral to how we want to play".

"Never ever are you a one man team but if you have got someone special in there, and they can go and get you the goal to win you the game, or create a goal for you to win, that is what they are there for".

Wales should not be labelled a one-man team at Euro 2016, superstar Gareth Bale warned on Thursday as their opening game against Slovakia approaches.

Bale had cramped up during Real Madrid's Champions League final victory last weekend, which was won on a penalty shoot-out after 120 minutes, and Coleman did not want to take any risks with his talisman.

A fully fit and well rested Bale will, of course, make a huge difference from the start against Slovakia and Allen and Robson-Kanu should offer significant upgrades on David Vaughan and Sam Vokes.

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Slovakia's coach Jan Kozak attends a training session.