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Coleman concedes late England defeat is low point of career

Football Soccer - England v Wales - EURO 2016 - Group B - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France - 16/6/16 Wales head coach Chris Coleman REUTERS/Carl Recine Livepic
Football Soccer - England v Wales - EURO 2016 - Group B - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France - 16/6/16Wales head coach Chris Coleman REUTERS/Carl RecineLivepic

By Philip Blenkinsop

LENS, France (Reuters) - Wales coach Chris Coleman conceded on Thursday that a stoppage-time loss to England was the low point of his career, but he said he could take inspiration from Roy Hodgson's side who had also come back from deep disappointment.

Wales led at halftime after a sensational long-range Gareth Bale free kick, but lost 2-1 after Jamie Vardy's equaliser and Daniel Sturridge's winner in the 92nd minute.

Asked whether this was the low point of a career that has included spells in charge at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Greek side Larissa in Greece, Coleman responded: "I'd have to say yes to be honest.

"When you come that close. You know you're going to be up against it. It's going to be a tough game. We did everything we could to keep them at bay."

Coleman said he had expected the England match to be difficult and his only criticism of his team was that the "Battle of Britain" occasion may have got to them, causing them to rush their passes and cede possession too often.

"We're up against a good team. I said that before the game. It was a tough game. But you can't tell me that my players deserved that," he said.

"You have to ride your luck a bit, but in the main they had a lot of possession... but it's not like (goalkeeper) Wayne Hennessey pulled off save after save," he added.

Coleman said he and his players were obviously disappointed but needed to get it out of their systems before they play Russia in their final Group B match in Toulouse on Monday.

"You've got to get over it. England did it. They conceded against Russia in the last minute and they showed good courage to come back in the second game, so we've got to do the same thing. We've got to put this to bed quickly."

Coleman said he would broadly have accepted before the tournament going into the last game in control of their destiny, with a win guaranteeing they will reach the knock-out phase.

"It's an exciting group, because it's all on the last games... Still, it's down to us," he said

"We've got to show a bit of metal... and we've got to bounce back for this next game," he added.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Toby Davis)

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