Chris Coleman says he and his Wales side will be driven by “desperation” when they face the Republic of Ireland on Friday – a desperation to succeed but, more specifically, a desperation to repeat the success of their recent past.
Absent from major tournaments for 58 years, qualifying for Euro 2016 – and then reaching the semi-finals – gave Wales a taste of what they had craved for generations.
And as they prepare for Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Dublin with their hopes of getting to next year’s competition in Russia in the balance, it is a taste they are desperate to sample again.
For Coleman, that feeling is particularly acute, as he has said this will be his final campaign in charge.
He cannot bare to think about a future when he will no longer lead his country and, for him to step aside satisfied with his legacy, he must replicate the sensation he felt in France last summer.
“I do think about Russia. Just because we went to France, it doesn’t mean Russia is less important,” he said.
“If you see the film [Don’t Take Me Home, the Wales Euro 2016 documentary], it gives you a taste for it again. You want to be back in that environment so I’m desperate to do it again. Desperate. It’s the only word I can use.
“I’m desperate to go back, be in the middle of that type of pressure. I can’t describe to you how that felt. I absolutely want that again. I do. That’s all I think about.”
Coleman and his players have openly admitted how difficult they found the aftermath of Euro 2016, plunged into an emotional comedown after the searing highs of France.
They re-watched goals and games, text messaged each other occasionally – all to try and reproduce the magic of that summer.
That is the aim of this World Cup qualifying campaign but, with four points separating Group D leaders Ireland and third-placed Wales, Coleman’s men travel to Dublin in need of victory.
Coleman has previously said he would consider his position if Wales were out of contention after five games.
With four matches gone, however, he is putting that discussion to one side.
“I think until it’s mathematically impossible, I’ll always, and we’ve always, got to look at it and go: ‘We’ve got a chance’,” the 46-year-old adds.
“So unless we can’t finish top and we can’t finish second, if that happens, then I’ll see how I feel and Wales will see how they feel, I imagine, because it is my last campaign.”