Gareth Bale: Wales have great chance of qualifying for World Cup

05 September 2017 07:54

Gareth Bale believes Wales will give themselves a "great chance" of finishing top of their World Cup qualifying group by beating Moldova on Tuesday.

Wales stayed in the hunt for a World Cup place when Ben Woodburn's dramatic debut winner secured a 1-0 victory over Austria on Saturday.

Chris Coleman's side are still two points behind the Republic of Ireland in second spot and four adrift of Group D leaders Serbia.

But the Republic and Serbia meet in Dublin at the same time Wales take on the section's bottom side Moldova - and Bale is convinced the Dragons can bridge the gap with three games left to play.

"I said we had four finals to keep our hopes alive," Bale said ahead of Wales' qualifier in Chisinau.

"If we win all four we'll have a great chance of top spot, and if not we'll get into the play-offs.

"One down, three to go. This is important too, we'll be going into the match confident and prepared very well.

"We know they'll make it difficult but we'll do everything to get the points and put ourselves in an even better position.

"If I didn't think we could do it (qualify) I wouldn't be here.

"We all still believe we can do it. That's the most important part."

Asked what was the best outcome for Wales in Dublin, Bale replied: "It's going to be what it's going to be.

"One team will drop points, maybe two. The most important thing is that we take care of our business.

"All we can do is look after ourselves."

Bale also revealed he helped persuade teenage sensation Woodburn to commit to Wales and reject England's overtures.

The Liverpool striker became an instant national hero with his superb strike against Austria - just 261 seconds after coming on as a 69th-minute substitute.

But Woodburn - who turns 18 on October 15 - could have played for England as he had dual nationality having been born in Nottingham and brought up in Cheshire.

The Football Association made two enquiries to get Woodburn on board, even though he has been part of the Wales set-up since the age of 13 as he qualified through a maternal grandfather.

England manager Gareth Southgate responded to Woodburn's incredible debut by saying it was "increasingly difficult" to monitor every young player and that some countries were able to fast-track youngsters quicker.

And Bale said: "I remember meeting him (Woodburn) in one game, I think it was against Holland (in November 2015).

"He was injured and he was sat in the box next to me as he's with my agency Stellar.

"I had a little chat with him then, getting (him) on board because obviously we knew he was a great player.

"We're delighted to have him - and he Welsh anyway, he's ours."

Source: PA


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