Bale: Wales FA patience in Coleman paid off

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The national team head coach lost his first four games in charge but, three years on, guided the country to a first major tournament in 58 with a place at Euro 2016

Gareth Bale praised the Football Association of Wales and their patience with Chris Coleman after the nation qualified for Euro 2016.

Coleman guided Wales to their first major tournament in 58 years as runners-up to Belgium in Group B, just three years after tragic passing of former national team head coach Gary Speed in 2012.

Coleman endured a nervy start to his tenure after losing his first four matches in charge, before two late goals from Bale saw Wales beat Scotland 2-1 in the fifth game in 2012.

Bale said the decision to keep Coleman as manager paid off with the nation's Euro 2016 qualification.

"The public stayed behind the manager, the players stayed behind him and the way we turned it round together showed how special this country is when we all pull together," Bale told the Mirror.

"And it shows that if you stick with a manager, even after a few bad results, it works out better in the long term.

"I know what Chris was trying to say when he said he felt like he was 'wearing another man's jacket' - it's not often the manager takes over following the death of his predecessor.

Bale added: "Nobody knows how to handle that situation. He was very respectful and the circumstances were difficult for him.

"But when Chris realised he had to do things his own way, that's when we started to feel the benefit as a team and we are reaping the rewards now."

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