Fitness doubts still hang over Bale and Fletcher

 

There were losers all round yesterday in the aftermath of the British derby World Cup qualifier in the snow globe scene of Hampden Park on Friday night. In the wake of a 2-1 comeback victory achieved with the quick one-two of an Aaron Ramsey penalty and a Hal Robson-Kanu header 20 minutes from time, Wales manager Chris Coleman was left to count the loss of the treasured Gareth Bale to injury and the influential Ramsey to a red card to be accounted for ahead of Tuesday's crucial Group A contest with Croatia at the Liberty Stadium.

For Gordon Strachan, on the occasion of his first competitive match in charge of Scotland, there was the matter of the sorry, lightweight Scots having equalled their worst winless streak in competitive fixtures of six – an inglorious record established back in 1986.

Perhaps the biggest managerial loser of all from this particular Battle of Britain was Martin O'Neill. Certainly, the Sunderland manager had reason to be concerned as Steven Fletcher lay stricken on the lush Hampden turf and then left the field by stretcher with less than five minutes on the clock. The extent of the damage to his ankle was not clear yesterday but it was serious enough for him to be withdrawn from the Scotland squad.

"He'll go back to his club and get re-assessed," Strachan said. "He came down from a great height and he buckled."

As for Bale, he was feeling well enough to tweet yesterday: "Nothing wrong with my ankle. I came off due to the stomach virus. Should be OK for Tuesday."

Coleman was not quite so sure. Bale had been doubtful all week due to a problem with his right ankle and a virus. He received treatment after a robust challenge from Scotland's goalscorer, Grant Hanley, in the 40th minute and was replaced at half-time.

"It won't be easy to get Gareth fit for Tuesday," Coleman said. "We've got 72 hours or thereabouts to try and get him back and see what he's like.

"He was probably a little bit weak because of the virus, but he said he was good enough to play so we trusted that. He hadn't trained all week then he had that crack on his ankle, so we weren't going to take the risk after that [and took him off]."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United 1 player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th-century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot