Clean sheet cheers Coleman
Chris Coleman was keen to try and focus on the positives despite watching Wales play out a turgid 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland in Cardiff.
The pre-match build-up had focused on the saga of whether Gareth Bale will leave Tottenham to join Real Madrid, despite a foot injury keeping the Spurs winger on the sidelines.
He watched on from the Wales dug-out, taking in a game which would have been all the richer for a glimpse of his pace, power and skill.
As it was, the visitors enjoyed the better of the contest and created the better of what chances there were, with Shane Long failing to convert two great opportunities, while Robbie Brady and Paddy Madden also went close.
Craig Bellamy's second-half free-kick was as near as toothless Wales came to a goal, with Ben Davies failing to make the most of their best chance right on half-time.
But the clean sheet was the first of Coleman's 10-match reign and it also brought about Wales' first goalless draw in six years.
Coleman said: "We kept a clean sheet and I was happy with the input from the lads.
"It's the first goalless draw in 40-odd games for Wales.
"I know Premier League managers won't have wanted this game because I've been a club manager.
"But I'm on the other side now and it was important time for us because we hadn't seen each other since March.
"At times we were rusty but we needed that. The next four qualifiers are vital for us. We must now look to finish third in our qualifying group."
It was impossible to ignore the spectre of Bale as he sat on the touchline.
Coleman has spent most of the week answering questions about a player unavailable for selection.
But he is happy to deal with the attention having a world class player attracts to Welsh football.
Coleman said: "This week has not really been about Wales and Ireland, to be honest. It's been about is he going or he is staying, is he playing?
"I can't grumble because he's a great player. Only special players get that type of publicity and interest - and he plays for us.
"I'll take the rough with the smooth all day long.
"It'd be nice for the next game if he is fit and settled somewhere. We hope and pray that happens."