WALES player of the year Chris Gunter hopes Chris Coleman can be persuaded to stay on as national manager after Monday night’s World Cup heartache.

The 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland means the Euro 2016 semi-finalists will not be going to Russia next summer.

Coleman has previously stated that this campaign would be his last but Gunter says the players want him to lead them to Euro 2020.

“I think everyone in Wales – fans and players – would want to see him 100 per cent stay on,” said Gunter.

“He's been a massive part of what we've done and he is the man to take us forward hopefully.

“If the powers can be can give him a really good contract and make him stay he can carry on being the greatest Welsh manager of all time.”

Asked if the players would try to persuade Coleman to stay, Newport-born Gunter said: “International football is weird. We all have to go back to our clubs now and we'll be told what's happening in the next two or three weeks.

“But I'm sure the message would be from the whole squad that we want him to sign a new contract.

“We want him to stay because what he's given this nation is something that's never been done before. Why you'd want him to leave I'm not too sure.”

But Gunter insists that the future is still bright for Wales, whoever is in the dugout.

“It's sad regardless of what happens now because we've put so much effort in the last 12 months or so,” said the Reading defender.

“We've all had disappointments in football before and you get a lot more lows than highs.

“That's why you need to enjoy the good times and use these defeats to move forward.

“You always seem to have another chance to do something and we want to build on what's happened in this campaign.

“It's not the end of Welsh football, we've got something we can use going forward. We're not going to go away, we're here to build on what we've done.

“There's young players coming through and a very nice blend in the squad.

“Yes, it's the end of the campaign but there will be another one around the corner and we'll be back here having more big nights. I'm sure about that.”