Euro 2016: Criticism will not derail Wales' Gareth Bale - Guttman

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has scored 14 goals in 48 Wales appearances
Euro 2016 qualifier: Israel v Wales
Venue: Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa Date: 28 March, 2015 Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

Eli Guttman believes Gareth Bale will not be affected by the criticism he has faced at Real Madrid when Wales face Israel in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday.

Bale has been scrutinised by Spanish media and some fans recently appeared to attack Real players' cars.

"His situation at Real Madrid will make no difference to how he plays," said Israel coach Guttman.

Group B leaders Israel and second-placed Wales are unbeaten.

Saturday's hosts have won all their three games while Chris Coleman's side have won two and drawn two going into the game in Haifa.

Guttman claims he was joking earlier in March when saying Bale, 25, was "saving himself for Wales".

Media playback is not supported on this device

Simon Church and Tal Ben Haim: Charlton pals, Euro foes

He made that comment after a period in which Bale had not scored or provided any assists in eight previous games.

"I was laughing in the last press conference that he's keeping [his] power for the national team - it was a joke," Guttman added.

"He's a professional and as I saw in his last games for Real Madrid, he's giving himself 1,000%... you see by his behaviour that he's not behaving like a star [with Wales].

"He's running, he's working and this is a big advantage for them."

Asked at Friday's press conference if Israel might target Bale, Gutman joked: "We do not have enough strong players to kick him out."

Guttman says Saturday's opponents share a hard-working team ethic.

He also says Wales can benefit from in-from Premier League players Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and captain Ashley Williams.

"It will be a very, very difficult game," said Guttman.

However, he says growing expectation among Israel's fans will not "disturb" their preparations.

"If we will succeed, if we will make history the people will come together and support the national team," added Guttman.

Top Stories