LNTUP

Ashley Williams will continue to serve the Captaincy role of Wales

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Wales skipper Ashley Williams has no plans to hand over the captain’s armband despite his World Cup heartache.

The Everton defender’s error allowed James McClean to seal a play-off place for the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff last month.

But the 33-year-old is determined to put his qualification nightmare behind him and lead Wales to another major tournament.

He said: “It was devastating but as I sit here, I’m enjoying the camp and as long as it stays like that I’m willing to give my services.

“As hard as it was to take, I’m here now and I can’t wait to be involved and as long as it stays like that I can’t see anything changing any time soon.

“It’s exciting to be involved in these games. I’ve never played against some of these players before, they have some of the best in the world.”

Williams will lead an experienced Wales team against France in Paris tonight in what could be one of Chris Coleman’s final games in charge.

The Dragons boss will hold talks with the FAW after the friendly clash with World Cup debutants Panama on Tuesday, and Williams has urged him not to call time on his Wales tenure.

He added: “It’s very important Chris stays. It’s clear the way the players and fans feel about him. The majority of our success is down to what he does.

“If it was down to us he’d stay as long as possible but that’s not how football works. We’d like to work with him forever really.
“We always enjoy the camps and give our all for him. You see it in games and that’s for him and all of the staff.”

Coleman admitted he could not bring himself to leave his house for a week after the Ireland defeat, which was the only loss during the whole campaign.

But he reckons the pain of failing to end their 60-year wait for a place at the World Cup finals will be eased by tonight’s glamour friendly.

He said: “If there was any type of hangover, this is the perfect remedy in a game like this and in a stadium like this. We’re still hurting and that will last a long time I imagine but that doesn’t mean we can’t focus and regroup and regain some momentum.”