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Verheijen warning on future with Wales.

Byline: CHRIS WATHAN

GARY SPEED'S right-hand man Raymond Verheijen has threatened to quit Wales unless the FAW up their ambitions.

In a stark warning delivered just hours ahead of today's World Cup fixtures meeting, Dutchman Verheijen made it clear he wants assurances from the Welsh FA hierarchy over their plans for the future.

And he vowed he would be prepared to walk away from the Wales set-up if he feels they are "slowing down" the steps Speed's young side are taking.

Verheijen, whose consultancy contract with the FAW expires next month, is due to accompany Speed in Brussels today as Wales attempt to thrash out their qualifying schedule for the 2014 tournament.

But throwing doubt over his future, Verheijen chose the eve of the meeting to outline his warning via Twitter.

In a series of tweets, Verheijen said: "On my way to Brussels for tomorrow's meeting to plan WC2014 qualifying fixtures with Wales, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Scotland & Belgium. "My consultancy contract with Wales expires at the end of the year. Will use x-mas (sic) period to evaluate and make new plans for the future. "The team has made solid progress, but will the FAW be able to grow with team or will they ultimately slow process down so the team will fail? "My mentor Guus Hiddink has taught me to constantly check whether people do all they can for the team or for themselves and their ego." Following his appointment by Speed, the outspoken Verheijen has been credited with modernising theWelsh set-up, bringing it into line with that of Premier League clubs. And the pair's plans have been given the full backing of the FAW, including the costly move to change hotels and training bases.

With the changes from the John Toshack regime now bearing fruit, the FAW appear prepared to continue to support Speed's plans for the future. This includes trying to tie down a top tier nation for a final warm-up game before the qualifiers kick off next September. But Verheijen has made it clear he is ready to let Speed go it alone if he feels that support wavers. Speed has already been dealt the blow over losing sports science expert Damian Roden following a row over contractual issues. And, after making huge strides over the past 12 months, Speed would be loathe to suffer any more disruptions to his World Cup planning. It is not clear whether Verheijen has been offered an extension to his contract, the current deal allowing him to work with other nations. It is thought Verheijen had been planning to link up with Turkey and trusted partner Hiddink for Euro 2012 before their play-off elimination last week. He stated in recent interviews promoting a coaching course he is running with Hiddink: "I will probably be involved in the Euro 2012 Championships though, so I will have to see which country Iwork with there and what my schedule will be." He went on: "I work with Wales on a consultancy basis because of all the other things I'm doing. I'm not really an employee of the FAW."

CAPTION(S):

* Raymond Verheijen, right, with Wales boss Gary Speed
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 23, 2011
Words:524
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