Disappointment as Coleman's hopes dashed
WALES boss Chris Coleman admitted his thoughts before the World Cup defeat in Croatia had been that the poor conditions in Osijek might work in his team's favour.
In the end, the opposite proved the case, with the hosts' passing game in no way hampered by a boggy Gradski Stadium pitch and the surface only really making a significant impact by offering them a helping hand for their opening goal.
That came in the 27th minute when Wales captain Ashley Williams's attempted pass-back appeared to be slowed down by a muddy patch.
Heavy rain led to England's World Cup qualifier in Poland on Tuesday being postponed, and asked about the conditions in Osijek, Coleman said: "We had been a bit worried because it was forecast as rain and we thought if it did rain, the game could have been in doubt.
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"Up at the end that we made the mistake, the pitch was really heavy.
"But to be fair to them, it didn't bother them (Croatia) at all — they still played their football.
"I thought maybe it would have helped us more, but in the end (it did) not."
Coleman also pointed out the number of Wales players that had been unavailable, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, back-up Boaz Myhill, Neil Taylor and Craig Bellamy among those missing through injury and James Collins and Aaron Ramsey both being suspended.