Wales need to look to future, says Coleman

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Manager Chris Coleman says Wales must try to move on following their 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica in an emotional Gary Speed Memorial Match at Cardiff City Stadium.

Wednesday’s friendly marked the first time Wales had played since the death of manager Speed in November and several touching tributes were paid to the former Leeds United and Sheffield United midfielder.

His sons Ed and Tom led the side out along with captain for the night Craig Bellamy and injured captain Aaron Ramsey, with Ed going on to offer words of support to the Wales dressing room following the defeat.

Given the circumstances it was perhaps no surprise that Wales, without Ramsey and hamstring-injury victim Gareth Bale, could not reproduce the form that had seen them win four of their last five games under Speed, with impressive teenage Arsenal forward Joel Campbell grabbing a seventh-minute winner with a cool finish.

Coleman, a close friend of Speed’s, was visibly emotional during his press conference and admitted it had been a “terribly tough night” for all concerned.

But with Wales having just two friendlies, against Mexico in May and Bosnia-Herzegovina in August, before they start their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Coleman says the side must now find the strength to move forward and honour Speed’s memory.

He said: “Gary would have wanted us to move on. We’ve all paid our respects and everyone played their part, but we must now look forward.”

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