Wales manager Chris Coleman is forced on defensive

Coleman admits his stock could be low following team's poor qualifying campaign

Chris Coleman tried to deflect attention away from his future as Wales manager ahead of the meaningless World Cup qualifier at home to Macedonia. He reached a verbal agreement with the Welsh FA over a two-year contract extension prior to last month's games against the Macedonians and Serbia but defeat in both games has left Wales bottom of Group A and with no chance of going to Brazil next year.

"I know the contract situation is still there but this is not the time or place to talk about that," Coleman said. "I'm here until the end of the campaign because I said I would never ever walk away from this job." But he added, ominously: "We're stocks and shares as managers, when you're winning your stock is high and you have opportunities to go elsewhere, losing is a different story. I'm concentrating on the game and what happens after that... what will be will be and soon enough we'll find out."

At least Aaron Ramsey has not added to Coleman's injury woes as he was passed fit to captain Wales. The Arsenal midfielder has enjoyed a superb start to the season and, with regular captain Ashley Williams among 10 players ruled out, the 22-year-old will lead the side for the second game in succession.

Scotland, like Wales, will not be heading to Brazil and they will be without Jordan Rhodes for their final qualifier against Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday. The Blackburn striker is suffering from a groin strain.

Belgium, the leaders of Group A, are suddenly one of the most talked-about European teams after Manchester United's wunderkind Adnan Januzaj refused an approach to play for them as he decides his international future from among a number of suitors. And they can qualify as group winners if they avoid defeat against the Croats, who are in second place.

Friday's qualifier between Spain and Belarus is set to go ahead despite an explosion in a power-supply unit outside the stadium in Mallorca. Two people suffered serious injuries in the blast. The world and European champions need just four points out of a possible six to guarantee automatic qualification.

Germany can secure qualification with a win against the Republic of Ireland in Cologne. Even a draw would probably be enough for them to finish top of Group C because of a vastly superior goal difference over second-placed Sweden. Perhaps the most intriguing prospect is that Bosnia & Herzegovina will all but seal their first appearance at the World Cup finals if they beat Liechtenstein.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week