Iwan Roberts column: Bosnia result 'good' if Wales beat Cyprus

By Iwan RobertsFormer Wales striker
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale scored 11 goals in his previous 15 caps for Wales before Friday's game against Bosnia-Hercegovina

The draw against Bosnia-Hercegovina only becomes a valuable, good point if Wales get three points against Cyprus on Monday.

I thought the team that manager Chris Coleman picked against Bosnia, with the injury problems he had leading up to the game, was the right one.

The formation did not surprise me, with three central defenders and the two wing-backs as well as trying to pack the midfield.

He gave Gareth Bale the free role, which I thought he might do while Simon Church was up front, who is our only option up there at the minute.

There were no surprises, but I might have started with Dave Edwards instead of Andy King.

Dave has had a tremendous start to the season at Wolves and Andy is not playing on a regular basis for Leicester City.

Iwan Roberts - former Wales striker
"I sense a renewed enthusiasm and optimism among the Welsh public for this team."

Looking at the game, Bosnia won the midfield battle with Miralem Pjanic and Haris Medunjanin, both technically brilliant on the ball.

We lacked the presence of Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey in midfield. That is probably where Bosnia edged it.

I thought we defended well, James Chester was outstanding. He struggled against Andorra but he showed he is an international player.

Keeper Wayne Hennessey was tremendous and kept us in the game, with four or five very good saves.

As an attacking unit Wales were not at their best and did not create as many chances, as I'm sure Chris would have liked.

But he was missing one of his main creative players in that area - Aaron Ramsey.

Having said that Wales did have the best chance of the game when Ashley Williams headed Bale's late free-kick over the bar.

It was never going to be easy and I would have taken a point before the game.

Gareth Bale (L) was marked by Everton's Muhamed Besic (R)
Gareth Bale (L) was marked by Everton's Muhamed Besic (R)

Everton's Muhamed Besic was instructed to man mark Bale.

Gareth knows he is going to have to deal with that from now until the end of his career, but he is good enough to cope with that.

He knows he is not going to get too much space because he is Wales' main threat.

Bosnia would have worked all week on how to stop Bale. At times there were three defenders trying to stop him.

That is where Wales need to be patient. We cannot expect Gareth to always go and create something and do it all himself, it is impossible.

Wales' upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers
Andorra (h) 13 October 2015
Bosnia-Hercegovina (a) 10 October 2015
Cyprus (h) 13 October 2014; (a) 3 September 2015
Belgium (a) 16 November 2014; (h) 12 June 2015
Israel (a) 28 March 2015; (h) 6 September 2015

Cyprus on Monday will be a totally different game.

I think they will do what they did away against Bosnia in their first game when they won 2-1.

Away from home against the better sides they like to play on the counter-attack.

They will be organised, defend deep and be quite happy to sit just outside their own penalty box in numbers.

The first goal is going to be vitally important. If Wales score first then obviously Cyprus will have to change their game plan.

I expect Wales to win. It will not be easy, it never is, because Cyprus have pace in their side, especially up front.

I sense a renewed enthusiasm and optimism among the Welsh public for this team.

More than 30,000 fans turned up for the Bosnia match and it was a great atmosphere.

I have played in games where it has been 0-0 and half of the place is empty when the final whistle goes.

They all applauded the effort that the Welsh boys put in to that 90 minutes because they knew that Bosnia were a good side.

We need good honesty from the players, which we always get, and if they do that then Wales have got every chance of being successful and that is all the supporters ask for.