Wales will have "no fear" in first ever semi-final insists Coleman

The Wales boss spoke of the need to ignore any pressure, which is only generated by "outside influences".

Wales will have "no fear" in first ever semi-final insists Coleman
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport

Chris Coleman has insisted that his history-making Wales side have nothing to fear and no reason to panic. They could be just 90 minutes away from an extraordinary final appearance at a European Championships.

The Wales boss was lauded for simply taking this side to the tournament, their first major international tournament appearance for a staggering 58 years, but he and his players have continued to break ground.

Coleman questions "what is fear?"

On Friday night, they stunned Belgium as Hal Robson-Kanu Cruyff-turned three players to send the traveling Welsh supporters into pandemonium. The celebrations have stopped now, though, and the focus is heavily on destroying any fears of pressure that could force the players to crack.

Coleman will walk out at the new Olympique Lyonnais stadium on Wednesday evening with his Wales side facing Portugal and admitted, of course, that it is "new territory". He encouraged his players, however, to "have belief in yourself and stand up for you identity" rather than being "blinded by the lights and crawl[ing] back to where you came from."

Speaking ahead of the game to reporters, Coleman questioned, "what is fear?" He insisted that "fear is put into people from outside influences" and so if "you spend too much time thinking about what you don't what to happen rather than concentrating on what you want to happen," you will fail.

Coleman continues with "Together Stronger" motto

The message to the players, Coleman revealed, is that they must play with "no fear" because "there's nothing to be afraid of." The 46-year-old is correct, these players have done their country proud, extraordinarily so, and should they be defeated by Portugal, they will return as heroes. However, the Portugal side which they face is yet to win a game in 90 minutes at the tournament. They required penalties to beat both Croatia in the first knockout round and Poland in the quarter-final.

Coleman was speaking ahead of Wales' semi-final clash with Portugal | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport
Coleman was speaking ahead of Wales' semi-final clash with Portugal | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport

Wales have overcome better teams, most prevailingly a star-studded Belgium side, and done so not with ease but in impressive fashion. While the 3-1 scoreline against Belgium was mildly misrepresentative of the evenness of the game, Wales were deserving winners and are fully deserving of their semi-final place.

"The longer you are in tournament football, the more together you become," Coleman said. So, for the Welsh squad, "all the bonds have got better and tighter" and "everybody is feeling very good." How could they not be?