Gareth Bale: Defeated Wales still on the up

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale believes Wales are "still on the up" despite their 2-0 friendly defeat by Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Wales wanted a boost before their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belgium on 7 September.

But winger Bale admitted: "It wasn't a great performance."

The Tottenham Hotspur star added: "We won five games in a row not so long ago. We're still on the up, still improving and just because we lost doesn't mean we haven't got a chance."

Bale appeared for the first time for Wales under Chris Coleman, who is still searching for his first win in charge after Wales fell to their third successive defeat of 2012.

Ahead of the clash against Bosnia-Hercegovina, Wales were 37th in Fifa's World Rankings, having been 117th at one point in 2011.

Coleman says Wales need to improve significantly if they are to reach the World Cup in Brazil.

Bale says Wales' build-up to the clash with Bosnia-Hercegovina was difficult because of varied fitness levels at the start of the league season and five players were involved with Team GB at the Olympics.

"It didn't go to plan at all, but it's a difficult time of the season.

"People are turning up at different stages of their fitness levels and obviously people have been away on Olympic duty and some haven't played as much.

"So it's obviously a difficult time. We've only been together for a couple of days, which is not easy either.

"Obviously it wasn't a great performance, but we'll learn a lot from it and I think that will make us more determined for next month.

"We'll definitely be 100% more prepared and everybody will be on the same wavelength fitness-wise and be raring to go.

"The most important thing for us is that we pick ourselves up. We know we're a lot better than that.

"We've shown that in the past, the same group of players.

"We're 100% focused, committed and we'll be doing our best."

Bale was withdrawn just after the hour mark, holding his back after landing heavily.

But he discounted fears over any serious damage to an area that has troubled him in the past.

Spurs open their Premier League campaign at Newcastle on Saturday and Bale said: "I just landed on it a bit awkwardly but it's fine.

"I was planning to come off after 60 [minutes] anyway, so it was good to get a run-out."

Coleman's starting line-up included three players who featured for Great Britain at the Olympics - captain Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Neil Taylor.

Wales' fourth Olympian, Craig Bellamy, started on the bench following his recent exertions with Team GB and move to Cardiff from Liverpool.

Bellamy came off the bench to replace Reading striker Simon Church on 62 minutes to win his 70th Welsh cap.

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