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Coleman not giving up on Brazil

Chris Coleman believes the 2-1 victory over Austria proves Wales can get themselves back in contention for World Cup qualification.

Another sublime performance from Gareth Bale helped the Dragons on their way to just the second victory of Coleman's tenure, the Tottenham winger grabbed the opening goal before delivering a pin-point cross for Sam Vokes to head in Wales' second.

Austria captain Marc Janko pulled a goal back for the visitors, but the home side held on for a much-needed win.

Wales will return to the business of World Cup qualifying when they face Scotland and Croatia next month, having endured a disappointing start to their Group A campaign.

They sit fifth of the six teams in the pool, having only claimed one victory from four games in the form of a 2-1 win over bottom side Scotland in October.

Wales sit seven points adrift of pacesetters Belgium and Croatia, but the win over Austria showed hints of a fluidity in their passing game that has rarely been seen since Coleman took charge.

The former Fulham boss' cause was helped by being able to start Bale and Craig Bellamy together for the first time in his reign.

Aaron Ramsey was a late injury withdrawal but Joe Allen and Jack Collison were among the key players available for Wednesday's friendly, and Coleman believes if those players remain fit, Wales are not out of the race for Brazil.

He said: "We are still missing guys like Neil Taylor, Wayne Hennessey, James Collins and Andrew Crofts, who were a big part of our success before I arrived.

"But if you have players like Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey around it helps you out, you have a real threat and is boosts you.

"No matter how hard you work or how much passion you have playing for your country, you need match-winners. We have them and next month they all have to be there.

"We have now won two of our last three games and it was a shame this game was not for points.

"We have two tough games next month, we have already faced Scotland and Croatia in this group so we know what to expect.

"We are going to Hampden Park, which is never easy but we are looking forward to it. It will be a great atmosphere and they have Gordon Strachan as their new manager so it is going to be exciting.

"We are heading in the right direction and it is not over, but we have got to get points next month. But they are two great games for us."

Coleman piled praise on Bale for his latest virtuoso display, but also acclaimed the performance of midfielder Joe Allen.

The Liverpool midfielder has come in for stick after a difficult period of below-par performances, and has had to settle for a place on the Anfield club's bench in recent weeks.

But his sumptuous pass to put Bale in for the opener showed he has the ability to hurt defences, as well as his customary excellence in keeping possession.

He said: "Joe has not been playing regularly for Liverpool so he is not at his best physically, but he kept going for 90 minutes.

"We know he has the ability, he is a sweet passer of the ball and you saw that with his pass for the goal.

"People look at Joe and they may think he is lethargic, but he plays the game at his own pace and there is no doubt he can hit those sort of passes."