Gareth Bale admitted Wales are on the verge of World Cup elimination after slipping to a late 2-0 defeat to Iran.
The 10-man Dragons suffered a heartbreaking loss in Qatar as Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian struck in the depths of stoppage time for the Iranians.
With that defeat leaving Rob Page’s men on just one point after two games, the Welsh need to beat England on Tuesday night to keep their hopes of progressing alive.
At the final whistle, captain Bale, 33, said, “It’s gutting. We’re gutted, there’s no other way to say it.
“We fought until the last second but its one of those things that’s difficult to take but we have to recover and go again.
“We have to just keep going. We have to recover, we’re all gutted. We have to pick ourselves up straight away.
“It’s going to be difficult to qualify for the last 16 but we have one game left and we have to try and look at every positive and still try and enjoy the occasion.
“It’s going to be difficult, for sure. We’ll have a look at the other games and we’ll see.”
After a dominant display by Iran, the Dragons’ hopes of victory were dealt a blow in the 86th minute when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was shown a red card after charging out of his goal and clattering into Mehdi Taremi.
Bale felt it was a turning point in a tense affair up to that point.
He added, “I haven’t seen it so I don’t really know but the red card changes the game. We let the first one in and then the second one really doesn’t matter. We have to recover straight away.”