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Coleman and Wales bask in 'amazing experience'

We hear from thrilled Wales coach Chris Coleman, Joe Allen, Gareth Bale and fit-again Joe Ledley after their 2-1 defeat of Slovakia, while Ján Kozák and Martin Škrtel remain defiant.

Wales celebrate their winner
Wales celebrate their winner ©AFP/Getty Images

Chris Coleman, Wales coach
That was an amazing experience. We didn't know what to expect; it's our first tournament. When we walked out on to the pitch the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic, the Welsh fans and the Slovakian fans: great atmosphere.

It was a great game. At both ends, it was physical, it was a good game of football but it's a fantastic three points.

Sometimes you make substitutions, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. We needed to get further up the pitch. That's what Hal [Robson-Kanu, who came off the bench to score the winner] gives us.

He came on and he got in behind the defence, he got our defenders ten or 20 yards further up the pitch which meant it was away from our goal because they were there for too long, 15, 20 minutes on top of us. But we got out.

We got a goal. We should, or could, have had one more, or two more. Overall, a fantastic performance.

Ján Kozák, Slovakia coach
Of course any defeat is unpleasant, especially at a EURO. I knew whoever scored first would have a big advantage as Wales have a well-organised defence. After we conceded we were not really comfortable on the ball, we lost possession, but after half-time we did our best and equalised. Towards the end both teams tried to win, it was an open game, and they had a bit more luck.

At half-time I talked to the full-backs, I told them to be more active in attack. I think [Róbert] Mak and [Vladimír] Weiss did get more support from the full-backs after that. When I brought on [Ondrej] Duda and [Adam] Nemec it was a bit of a risk, but you have to deal with these scenarios. We could have prevented the second goal, but that's football.

Ramsey: We got what we deserved

Joe Allen, Wales midfielder & man of the match
Never mind my performance, the team was brilliant. Great grit. To go up and to get pegged back. For a spell we were against the ropes a little bit but we dug deep like we always do and that’s what this team's all about, digging and grinding. When we got that second goal we were confident we could hold on to it.

From start to finish [the fans] were fully behind us. Even that spell where, like I said, they were certainly on top of us, our fans stayed with us, stayed loud, created a fantastic atmosphere and I think that helps get that extra 5, 10% out of the lads. That's what makes all the difference.

Gareth Bale, Wales forward
What can I say? It was like a home game today. Our fans are just the best in the world and they fully got behind us tonight and we've given them something to celebrate.

[The opening goal] Just a memorable moment, a historic moment for our country. The most important thing is that, it doesn't matter about the goals or whatever, but we got the three points and we gave our fans something to cheer.

We take each game as it comes, we're not thinking about this game anymore it's on to England. We've done the first part, two more to go and we'll keep fighting on.

Marek Hamšík on defeat

Joe Ledley, Wales midfielder
I'm very proud of myself, very proud of the medical staff who've looked after me, and obviously I'll give them credit because without them I don't think I'd be here today.

I've worked hard and it's remarkable what I've achieved, and obviously I've got to thank the manager as well for giving me the opportunity to be here. We'll see how it goes from now. The leg's feeling OK.

Martin Škrtel , Slovakia defender
At half-time we were saying that there was nothing to lose, and we believed we could score. Then we did score, and there was a part of the game where we totally dominated, we put a lot of pressure on them, and they were just kicking the ball away.

But unfortunately we didn't score the second goal, and then the game became more even, and we conceded a second. We're really sorry about this game, but it's only the first game. There are two games still ahead and I believe we can take the good parts of this game into the other games and get results.