Chris Coleman: I’ll play Bale in qualifiers

Chris Coleman: I’ll play Bale in qualifiers


Chris Coleman says he will have no hesitation playing Gareth Bale in Wales’ upcoming European Championship qualifiers despite the forward only just returning from injury.

The 25-year-old trained with the Real Madrid team on Thursday for the first time in two weeks since picking up a calf injury in the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donesk.

The former Spurs man could feature in this weekend’s derby match against Atletico de Madrid at the Vicente Calderon before jetting off to link up with his international team mates for their two remaining qualifiers. Wales need just one win from the two matches to qualify for the tournament in France next summer.

Speaking to the media about selecting Bale, despite him potentially lacking in match sharpness, Coleman said: “Bale has been instrumental in this campaign not just with his goals but his all round performances. Bale’s incredibly important and we don’t want to be going into games as important as these two without someone like him.”

He added: “Hopefully gets a game in before Bale comes to us and the news coming out of Real Madrid is positive. He will have been building up in training and ticking the boxes before he’s deemed fit to start or come on as sub for Real Madrid. But all the feedback I’ve had from my medical team has been good. Bale’s expected to be available for Real Madrid before he comes on board for us. He’s at the centre of our plans.”