Wales boss Coleman wont risk Bales fitness

24 March 2013 03:46

Wales manager Chris Coleman insists he has no intention of risking Tottenham star Gareth Bale's fitness in the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Tuesday.

Bale was only able to play for the first half of Wales' 2-1 win over Scotland on Friday after struggling with illness and an ankle injury in the build-up to the clash at Hampden Park.

The Wales winger is confident of recovering in time to face the Croatians and Coleman would love to have his best player available.

But Coleman has reassured Tottenham that he won't gamble on Bale, who is integral to Spurs' efforts to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, if he shows signs of being less than 100 percent fit.

"We only had Gareth for 45 minutes and albeit a jaded Gareth Bale," Coleman said.

"He's been ill and had a knock on his ankle, but he wanted to play. He said he felt fine so that's why we started him.

"He had another knock after 30-35 minutes on the same ankle, so we had to bring him off.

"I don't know if he will be okay. I'm not sitting on the fence, but the next 24 hours will be crucial.

"All we can do is wrap him up in cotton wool. If he is not ready, then we can't risk him.

"We won't because we have to be fair to Tottenham. They never stand in his way and he always comes along. Gareth likes to come, but we have to look after him."

Source: AFP