Coleman: I can deal with the flak
CHRIS Coleman insists he can handle any flak that flies his way after Wales's humiliating 6-1 defeat to Serbia.
The woeful display saw them suffer their third heaviest defeat since 1930, and left their hopes of reaching a World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 in tatters.
Aleksandar Kolarov curled home a free-kick and Zoran Tosic doubled the home side's lead after some comedy defending had allowed Manchester City's Kolarov to slip past several challenges.
Gareth Bale got Wales back in it with a stunning free-kick but Darcy Blake's awful defensive header allowed Filip Djuricic to net Serbia's third before the break.
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Dusan Tadic got the fourth before another gaffe from Blake let in Branislav Ivanovic and Miralem Sulejmani later completed the rout.
Wales may be just two games into their campaign and are only four points adrift of top spot at this early stage.
But this performance suggests the wait to reach a major finals will extend beyond the end of this campaign.
All the optimism that flourished towards the end of Gary Speed's reign with a run of four wins in five games has largely been extinguished following Tuesday night's abysmal display.
Coleman was always set to have a difficult task given the manner of his appointment, but a run of five defeats since he was unveiled and the manner of this humbling reverse mean he is already starting to come under pressure.
And he says he is prepared to deal with any criticism that comes his way before next month's meeting with Scotland.
He said: "When you lose 6-1 and the team performs like that you have to take responsibility.
"I don't worry about any pressure or negativity aimed at me, I have seen it all before.
"This is the first time being an international manager when I have been taught a lesson and that hurts more than anything else. We have let people down but thankfully there is another one coming up."
But a shell-shocked Coleman admitted he could not find the words to describe how poor the performance was.
When asked to explain the loss, he said: "I did not see it coming. We knew it would be difficult coming here but on the back of Friday's performance against Belgium we thought we could get something, but we can't accept that level of performance.
"To say it is disappointing is an understatement. We have to do much better than that and we are capable of doing much better.
"At times it was men against boys, the goals we conceded were criminal really and the individual errors were disappointing.
"I am lost for words to be honest with you."