Welsh favourite Giggs looks likely to disappoint punters

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The Independent Online

The Football Association of Wales has called a press conference for tomorrow 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 last 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 the 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.

The Under-21s coach, Brian Flynn, and Fulham assistant manager, Mark Bowen, are among other names being mentioned as potential successors.

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 that a defeat by Bulgaria next month would leave Wales without "too much chance" of making it to the finals in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

Toshack has overseen a huge change in playing personnel, putting an emphasis on youth and fast-tracking youngsters such as 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 the player to end his Wales career, called for the former Real Madrid manager to go over the weekend.

The 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 radio that he would be interested in the post, despite having no managerial experience.

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

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