Toshack on brink of Wales exit

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John Toshack's six-year tenure in charge of Wales is poised to come to an end following the 1-0 defeat by Montenegro on Friday.

Press Association Sport understands Toshack, who took over from Mark Hughes in November 2004, feels he cannot take Wales any further and will tender his resignation this week.

The 61-year-old, who has been at the Football Association of Wales' headquarters in Cardiff today, was unusually downbeat after the loss in Podgorica in the opening round of Euro 2012 qualifiers.

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, Ryan 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.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, the Derby midfielder said: "It is time John Toshack left Wales.

"I think we need a fresh start, fresh impetus. We need to get the crowds back and I think Toshack has to go.

"He has made enough excuses, he has been in the job six years. Judge him on his qualifying campaigns - they haven't qualified yet and they have got off to a terrible start again."

And it seems Savage will get his wish, with the only question being whether Toshack will leave the post before or after the double header against Bulgaria and Switzerland next month.

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.

It would not be a new approach for the FAW, who appointed Hughes in 1999 while he was playing for Southampton.

The striker combined the jobs for three seasons, moving on to Everton and then Blackburn while masterminding an upturn in Wales' fortunes that saw them narrowly miss out on qualification for Euro 2004.

Giggs, who is contracted at Old Trafford until the end of the season, retired from international duty in 2007 after 64 caps.

Undoubtedly one of Wales' great playing talents, the winger was, however, also renowned for missing numerous friendly matches.

Appointing Giggs would be a surefire way to reignite waning interest in the national team, and former Wales assistant Mark Bowen believes he could be the right man for the job.

He told Sky Sports News: "I've seen the names in the frame and Ryan's got a mention and Chris Coleman. Those are the two that stick out for me.

"Time will tell if Ryan can do it and would want to do it. It would be a steep learning curve. He'd have to deal with the pressure of trying to get results in international football.

"But perhaps the expectation isn't as high as maybe it once was."

The FAW could make a statement clarifying the situation as early as tomorrow.

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