Wales v Serbia: Gareth Bale set to be introduced from the bench for World Cup qualifier

The Real Madrid winger has not played a competitive game this season

Chris Coleman is prepared to throw Gareth Bale into the fray from the bench against Serbia tonight, even though the Wales boss admits he has concerns over the amount of protection his side get from referees.

Real Madrid star Bale, who has not played since mid-July, remains a doubt for the World Cup qualifier in Cardiff, despite taking a full part in training on the eve of the game, hours after undergoing a scan on a groin strain.

Coleman could be forgiven for electing not to risk Bale given his desire to build a strong relationship with the 24-year-old's new club, as well as the physical test posed by their visitors.

Coleman was also less than impressed by how his side were treated in defeat to Macedonia on Friday.

Roughhouse tactics from the hosts saw Aaron Ramsey receive an elbow in the throat and Jonathan Williams suffer an ankle injury in a poor challenge which is set to keep him sidelined for six weeks.

Coleman said: "We are not asking for more protection than the next team but we have got to get some.

"You can't have a player blatantly elbowing one of your players. We needed more protection than what we got.

"I'm not saying Gareth Bale needs extra protection, he just needs a fair crack of the whip.

"The type of football we play, we don't play fight football, we try to play nice football.

"Sometimes the opposition get annoyed with that.

"The challenges can get a bit naughty but that's what the referee is there for."

Bale will not start against Serbia, who themselves have a reputation as uncompromising opponents, but Coleman is more than prepared to use him as a substitute, provided he is fit.

He said: "If Gareth says to me he can play a part then he is coming onto the pitch. There is no way that he is not coming on to the pitch.

"If he had said to me before the Macedonia game he could play 20 minutes, then I would have put him on for 30, I would have pushed him a little.

"But I can't do that if he says to me he isn't ready.

"If there is any chance he can play for a second - it only takes a player a second to change your life - he will be on the pitch."

Coleman also has to decide who to name as captain with Ashley Williams suspended.

The in-form Ramsey, who held the captaincy before Williams was handed the armband, and Craig Bellamy are the leading contenders.

And Coleman admits the form the Arsenal midfielder is in, shows he will regain the leadership role.

He said: "I can't deny Aaron is not a potential captain, because his form is magnificent, he's running the game.

"Last year I gave the armband to Ashley Williams because I thought it was on top of Aaron.

"But I always believed one day Aaron would be the captain again and go on to lead Wales.

"From where he was last year to now, mentally he's in a different place."

PA

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own