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Ramsey and Allen to miss Wales qualifiers

01 October 2014, 17:33

London - Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen are set to miss Wales' upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus in Cardiff, manager Chris Coleman said Wednesday.

The pair will be sidelined for the game against the Bosnians on October 10 and Cyprus three days' later.

Arsenal rising star Ramsey damaged a hamstring in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and has been ruled out for the next four weeks.

Meanwhile Liverpool's Allen has not played since Wales' opening Euro 2016 victory in Andorra on September 9 following a hernia operation.

"We've got used to being without players who everyone talks about being the main boys," Coleman said after naming a 26-man squad for the two matches, which will both take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.

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"I've never had them altogether and we're also without David Vaughan and Andy Crofts, so that's four out of that midfield area.

"It's disappointing when you lose players of the calibre of Aaron and Joe, but I've got confidence in those boys to come in and do a job for us.

"I'm still excited going into it because these are two huge games."

Wales, who have not played in a major tournament finals since the 1958 World Cup, came under fire after struggling to see off lowy Andorra, ranked 199th in the world, 2-1 in their opening qualifier courtesy of two goals from Real Madrid star Gareth Bale last month.

Coleman shrugs off criticism

Most of the flak that was flying came Coleman's way but the former Wales international said the criticism was no surprise as far as he was concerned.

"I knew what this job entailed when I walked through the door because of the nature of me getting it.

"So we win and it's got nothing to do with me. We lose and it's got everything to do with me.

"But that's never worried me and I'm not bothered by that.

"Certain people will always concentrate on the negatives because they've said so much in the last two years it's difficult for them to go back on that.

"I won't even try to win them over, I really couldn't give a monkey's about them. All I care about is the players and our supporters who follow us home and away.

"They're the only people that matter to me, everything else outside is noise which I don't listen to."

Wales have lost only once in six games during the past 12 months, a 2-0 June defeat by a Netherlands side which eventually finished third at the World Cup in Brazil.

Now Wales are 29th in FIFA's world rankings, an impressive rise given they were 82nd as recently as December 2012.

"Results don't lie," Coleman said. "We're 29th in the FIFA rankings which has been the highest we've been for 20 years and we're 20th in the UEFA rankings.

"Where are we meant to be? I don't know. Was I coming in and taking over a country that has repeatedly qualified for major tournaments? No.

"I don't know what the expectations are to be honest. All I know is that we've got a good group of committed players and we're on the right road.

"Two years ago I said we've got to climb the rankings and we've done that.

"We're still doing it, it's not finished yet."



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