Coleman: I tried too hard to hold on to Speed's legacy


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The Independent Online

Chris Coleman has admitted the difficulties of changing what he inherited as Wales manager from Gary Speed ahead of tonight's crucial qualifier against Scotland in Cardiff.

Wales have lost both of their qualifiers so far, and all four of their games since Coleman took over as manager. Neither British team has a good chance of qualifying from Group A for the 2014 World Cup, but Wales' record – having lost at home against Belgium and then 6-1 in Serbia – is worse.

Coleman's difficulties extend far beyond football, of course. He took the job in tragic circumstances, following Speed's death. Succeeding someone so loved and so missed is not easy, as the 42-year-old explained yesterday.

Speed favoured passing football, which Coleman, pictured, tried to preserve, and he now admits that he should have changed more when he took over. "Whatever was being done before was working, but it hasn't been working," Coleman said. "So I think the worst thing we could have done is keep it the same. When I got the job – [I was thinking] if it's not broke you don't fix it, or you don't try and change it too much. But I think maybe if I'm at fault for anything I should have changed sooner. We've tried to change what we're doing, little subtle differences, and the players have enjoyed it and, more importantly, they've got good things out of it."

Hoping for fresh impetus, Coleman has appointed a new captain. Aaron Ramsey's armband has passed to the Swansea City defender Ashley Williams, who admitted the players have let Coleman down so far.

"All the boys like him and we have enjoyed working with him," Williams said. "We really want to win for him. We have let him down on the pitch."