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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'