Chris Coleman will determine whether he can take Wales forward before making a decision to stay or call time on his “dream job”.
That is the view of Coleman’s assistant Osian Roberts after Wales’ players urged their manager to stay on despite their failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Coleman met senior players – including the injured Gareth Bale – at the team hotel following their 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Monday night.
The squad have given their unanimous support to Coleman and it is also understood that the Football Association of Wales is hoping Coleman extends his near six-year stay at the helm.
With Wales planning a November friendly – Mexico and the United States top the list of possible opponents in Cardiff – Coleman plans to holds talks with the FAW about his future in the next few weeks.
“Chris is his own man and he’ll eventually decide what is right for him and for Welsh football,” said Roberts, who has been at Coleman’s side since he was appointed Wales manager in January 2012.
“There is no question that he is the best manager in Welsh history and nobody wants that to end.
“The players coming through will strengthen what we have, that excites him and is obviously a major factor.
“But we will take a little bit of time to gather our thoughts because this (going out of the World Cup) was the furthest thing from our mind. Everything was geared towards next summer.”
Bale is known to be a fan of Coleman and echoed Roberts’ sentiments when asked about his national team boss at the start of June.
The Real Madrid man said: “Of course we want him to stay. What he has done for the team and Welsh football has been amazing.
“He couldn’t have taken on the job at a more difficult time and what we’ve collectively achieved since then has been amazing.”
Coleman said after Wales had reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 that the 2018 World Cup campaign would be his last in charge.
But his stance appears to have softened in the last 12 months and Coleman could be open to the idea of changing his mind and leading Wales into the Euro 2020 campaign.
“There is no doubt that Chris loves this job,” Roberts said.
“He has said you’re lucky if get you one opportunity in a lifetime to do it.
“He’s taken that opportunity and created history, and I’m sure he doesn’t want that to end.
“Whatever decision he makes it’s going to be a very difficult one, but this is the dream job managing your country.
“We will wait to see if he feels if he can take this team further.”
Wales’ first competitive defeat at home for four years means that the nation’s long wait for another World Cup finals appearance goes on.
Next summer’s tournament in Russia will mark the 60th anniversary of Wales’ only previous finals appearance in Sweden.
But Roberts insists the future of Welsh football remains bright despite their World Cup exit.
“What we’ve got in the dressing room the opportunity is there for Chris or whoever else to take this team onwards,” Roberts said.
“There’s certainly more success on the horizon for this group of players.”