Wales boss Chris Coleman admits Gareth Bale is still not fit enough to play 90 minutes but hopes he will take some part in World Cup qualifiers
National boss thanks Real Madrid for allowing Bale to link up with the squad after the completion of his world-record transfer to the Spanish club
Tuesday 03 September 2013
Chris Coleman has admitted that Gareth Bale is not fit enough to play a full 90 minutes when Wales take on Macedonia and Serbia in their World Cup qualifiers, but he remains hopeful that he will play some part in both matches.
Bale completed his world-record £86m transfer to Real Madrid from Tottenham on Monday after he was unveiled to the Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he flew back to Cardiff soon after and is expected to take part in training on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old is keen on playing for his country in an effort to regain some sort of match fitness ahead of his Real debut, but having not played since picking up an injury while playing for Spurs in July, Coleman is cautious over how much Bale features in the two matches.
Speaking at a press conference in Cardiff, Coleman said: “"If he is not ready we will not risk him, regardless of whether it is a world record fee.
"We are aware a lot of people will want to see him play in the home game against Serbia.
"But he has no chance of playing 90 minutes on Friday or on Tuesday."
Coleman added: "He has not done much work in the last six weeks or two months. His last training session was with us before the Republic of Ireland game (in which Bale played no part in due to a foot injury).
"But he is here, he will train with us and we will assess him.
"For him to start on Friday would be a doubt, but that does not mean he cannot play a part."
Coleman also wanted to thank the Real Madrid coaching staff for allowing Bale to join up with the national squad, claiming that he would have understood if they wanted to keep hold of him and prevent any further injury.
The former Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry boss also hopes that his good relationship with Real boss Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant Paul Clement will benefit the national team in terms of selecting Bale for future matches.
"Credit to them, they have not put any barriers in front of him. I know Carlo Ancelotti's right-hand man Paul Clement very well, he coached with me at Fulham, so that can help us going forward."
Coleman also believes that he has seen a difference in Bale’s behaviour since the transfer saga came to an end, claiming he is more settled now that the media attention on him has somewhat reduced, despite standing as the most expensive player in the world.
Bale was presented as a Real Madrid player yesterday by club president Florentino Perez
"He has got a smile on his face now as he knows where he is going to be playing his football, he knows his future because before he did not know whether he was staying at Spurs or whether he was going.
"The media frenzy was following him and now he has a more settled look on his face because he knows where he is going to be playing."
Wales travel to Macedonia on Friday before returning to the Cardiff City Stadium to take on Serbia on Tuesday next week.
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