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We didn't beg Coleman, says Gunter

 

By Phil Blanche

Chris Gunter has denied player power tried to keep Ryan Giggs' predecessor Chris Coleman as Wales manager.

Wales' new era under Giggs starts tomorrow as the Dragons kick off the China Cup against the hosts in Nanning, with the Czech Republic and Uruguay also involved in the tournament.

It is the first time the Wales squad has been together since Coleman - who guided the country to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 - surprisingly chose to end his six-year stay in November and take over at Championship strugglers Sunderland.

Gunter was among a group of senior players who reportedly lobbied Coleman to remain, but he said: "It was made out that there was a group of players who were knocking his hotel door and begging him to stay. It wasn't quite like that because players don't really have an influence on what happens above.

"This group of players wouldn't think just because we've done well we deserve the right to make decisions like that.

"We wanted the manager to stay, because he was a massive part of Welsh history and everybody loved playing under him.

"But in this case I think we were the last to know."

Gunter is set to win his 86th cap against China and set a new Wales record for an outfield player, eclipsing Gary Speed.

"It would be quite special to me because of that, and who I would move above," Gunter said.

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