Allen won't give up the fight
Wales midfielder Joe Allen has vowed the team will continue battling for a place at the 2014 World Cup after their latest setback.
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24. Joe Allen
Following Tuesday's 2-0 loss in Croatia - the Dragons' third defeat from the opening four fixtures of their qualifying campaign - the picture in Group A is not looking promising for Chris Coleman's men.
They are now fifth on three points, seven adrift of second-placed Croatia and leaders Belgium and 33/1 with Sky Bet to qualify for the finals, but Allen has stressed the players will fight on.
"We knew after losing the first two games it was always going to be tough and we had a lot of catching up to do," Allen said.
"There's no hiding from that but, while there's still a chance, we'll keep fighting and we go into the next games looking to pick up points."
Wales were beaten 2-0 at home by Belgium and then thrashed 6-1 in Serbia in their first double-header of qualifiers last month, before bouncing back with a 2-1 victory over Scotland last Friday in Cardiff.
That result saw them head to Osijek this week with some momentum, but they were unable to sustain it as a Croatia side featuring the likes of Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic put in a dominant display.
Given the glut of chances the hosts created, Coleman's team could at least come away from the contest with the consolation that they managed to avoid the sort of embarrassing scoreline they were on the wrong end of in Serbia.
And looking back on the Scotland and Croatia games, Allen believes there are plenty of reasons why Wales can move forward feeling encouraged.
"It (Croatia) is a tough place to come against a strong European team with top players," Allen said. "It's always disappointing to lose any match, but the level of their performance made it tough for us.
"The performance was the big thing over these two games. We had to right the wrong of Serbia, which stands out as a bad night for Welsh football.
"Credit to the team, I think the performance levels were much, much better against Scotland and Croatia and I think we can take positives from both games."