Group B leaders Wales will head to Belgium next month with manager Chris Coleman insisting they can make another strong statement in their bid to qualify for Euro 2016.
Wales consolidated their position at the top of the pool by beating Cyprus 2-1 in Cardiff on Monday night at the same time as group favourites Belgium drew 1-1 with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Coleman’s side made it seven points from nine even though they were reduced to 10 men two minutes into the second half after Leicester City midfielder Andy King was shown a straight red for a reckless challenge on Cyprus captain Constantinos Makridis.
“We won’t go there there thinking we’ve just got to do well,” Coleman said of the November trip to Brussels.
“If we want to do well this campaign, we must get a result there, and we are good enough to do that.
“I don’t know who’s going to turn up because there’s always injuries – that’s the way it works. But I know whoever we’ve got, we can get a result in Belgium.
“We did it in the last campaign – we had 15 players missing and got a draw there. That’s our mindset.
“We said after four or five games we want to be up there in the top three and we’ve got a chance of doing that now, but there’s still a lot of football and a lot of points to be played for in this group.”
Substitute David Cotterill and Hal Robson-Kanu fired Wales into a two-goal lead inside 23 minutes but Vincent Laban pulled one back for Cyprus before half-time to get the nerve-ends fluttering.
King’s red card then threatened to turn Wales’ night upside down but Coleman’s side called on huge resilience to withstand Cypriot attacks and collect three precious points.
“We probably don’t win that game in the last campaign. We didn’t have that same togetherness then, that’s for sure,” Coleman said.
“The players were absolutely magnificent. We’ve only had one defeat in eight games and we’ve not lost here for a year.
“People have questioned the players’ team spirit and (whether) they want to play for Wales, but I don’t think I have to answer that any more.”
Coleman was frustrated by the refereeing of German official Manuel Grafe, who allowed several tackles on Gareth Bale to go unpunished, Cyprus somehow ending with 11 men after the Real Madrid star was hacked to the floor on several occasions.
“Baley knows before he walks on the pitch he’s going to get kicked, I know that and I’m not complaining about that,” Coleman said.
“Cyprus have got to do what they think right’s to win the game, but the referee’s there for a reason – to make a decision.
“When we play opposition in their back yard their star players get rewards, they get free-kicks – but it doesn’t happen for us.
“The red card was a heavy challenge but if he sends one of ours off surely he can send one or two of theirs off because they weren’t shy.”
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