Chris Coleman admits Gareth Bale is still not fit to start for Wales ahead of World Cup qualifier against Serbia

Wales boss claims he has a responsibility to think of the long-term ramifications if Bale was to return to Real Madrid with a further injury after going for a groin scan

Wales boss Chris Coleman has confirmed that Gareth Bale will not start tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Serbia tomorrow.

Bale was left among the substitutes during Wales’ 2-1 World Cup qualifier defeat to Macedonia on Friday, and the coach has now confirmed that he will not start the match at the Cardiff City Stadium after being sent for a groin scan after suffering another injury setback.

Welsh fans were unhappy with the decision not to send Bale on as they searched for an equaliser in Skopje, with Coleman confirming after the match that he wasn’t match fit and there was never any intention to play him – with his inclusion an attempt at playing mind games with their opponents.

"We had a conversation with Gareth before the game, he had a tight groin from the day before and we could not take that chance," admitted Coleman earlier today.

"As we speak he has gone to have another scan on it to clear his mind so he knows everything is alright.

"We went into the Macedonia game with everything great.

"Gareth gets his move to Real Madrid, everything is positive. Then Gareth picks up a strain in training and can't play in the game which is disappointing."

He added: "He was never going to be available to start either of these games but at best he would have come on for maybe half an hour.

"There is a small chance of that tomorrow night, we will see when we get the scan results back and how he feels."

Bale hasn’t played a minute of competitive football since Tottenham’s pre-season tour in July, which he has since completed a world-record £86m transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old is likely to make his debut for Los Meregues next weekend when Carlo Ancelotti’s side take on Villarreal on Saturday, but he could yet play some part in Tuesday’s encounter with Serbia, who sit in third place in Group A two points above Wales.

“I’m not thinking about just one game,” admitted Coleman, claiming that he had a responsibility to keep up relations with club sides in order to have access to his squad in the future.

“I’ve got to look at the bigger picture. When we are selecting the team, we are thinking of sending players back fit and not risking them.

“We have to build long-term relationships and look after players properly. It’s the same for all of them, whether it’s Gareth, Aaron Ramsey or Jack Collison. Will Gareth be ready to start against Serbia? No. Can he play a part? We’ll see.”

Wales are already without suspended captain Ashley Williams after he picked up a yellow card in Macedonia, while midfielder Jonny Williams and defender Sam Ricketts are also doubtful due to picking up injuries in the defeat.

Bale was unveiled as a Real Madrid player last Monday Bale was unveiled as a Real Madrid player last Monday  

 

Despite winning just three of his 11 games in charge, Coleman has confirmed that a contract extension to lead the side through to the 2016 European Championships has been agreed.

“The new contract has all been agreed,” admitted Coleman. “We just wanted to get these two games out of the way as they are the most important thing.”

There is some good news though, with Reading forward Hal Robson-Kanu available again after missing the trip to Skopje through suspension. Wales are looking for revenge against Serbia, having succumbed to an embarrassing 6-1 defeat last year.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss