Toshack nears Wales departure

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The Football Association of Wales have called a press conference for Thursday afternoon when manager John Toshack is expected to announce his resignation.

Toshack is understood to feel he has taken Wales as far as he can following Friday's 1-0 defeat by Montenegro in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier.

The 61-year-old will be present at the press conference along with FAW president Phil Pritchard and chief executive Jonathan Ford.

Toshack, who has been in charge of Wales since November 2004, spent yesterday at the FAW headquarters in Cardiff and the only question now appears to be whether he will leave the post before or after the double-header against Bulgaria and Switzerland next month.

Ryan Giggs is the early favourite with bookmakers to replace Toshack but it is thought unlikely the Manchester United winger would want to take on the role while he is still playing at the highest level.

Under-21s boss Brian Flynn and Mark Bowen are among other names being mentioned as potential successors to Toshack.

There had been optimism this could be the campaign in which the Wales squad came of age but Friday's performance was a hugely disappointing start.

With England hot favourites to win Group G, Toshack admitted another defeat by Bulgaria next month would leave Wales without "too much chance" of making it to Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

Toshack has overseen a huge change in playing personnel, putting an emphasis on youth and fast-tracking youngsters like Gareth Bale, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, Chris Gunter and Jack Collison into the senior side.

That approach has partly been forced on him by the international retirements of players including Robbie Savage, Gary Speed, Giggs, Jason Koumas and most recently Simon Davies.

Savage, who has been one of Toshack's biggest critics since a row with the manager five years ago led to him ending his Wales career, called for the former Real Madrid boss to go over the weekend.

Former Wales striker John Hartson has already expressed his interest in taking on the job.

The 35-year-old, who recently came through a battle with cancer, scored 14 goals for his country in 51 appearances between 1995 and 2005 and told talkSPORT he would be interested in the job, despite having no managerial experience.

"Absolutely. There's nobody that will be more committed and more Welsh than I am," he said.

"If it was offered to me then obviously I would seriously, seriously think about it. There maybe one or two candidates out there that come before me, I may have to wait my turn, maybe three or four years down the line.

"But if you're asking me if I would take the job, absolutely. You'd have to be a fool to turn down the national manager's job.

"The only way you get experience in management is by going into a job. Of course I'd be a candidate for the job, but it depends on how seriously they take me."

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