Gareth Bale can handle criticism - Wales manager Chris Coleman

By Owain Llyr Chwaraeon BBC Cymru
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid
Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham for a world record £85m in September 2013

Wales manager Chris Coleman says Real Madrid's Welsh winger Gareth Bale can handle the "unfair" criticism he is getting.

Welshman Bale, 25, has been jeered by fans of the Spanish club in recent weeks.

He was also criticised by some sections of the media following Saturday's 4-0 defeat by local rivals Atletico Madrid.

"He can handle that no problem at all," said Coleman.

"I'm not worried about him. If you go to Madrid for that amount of money and you know that the spotlight is on you then you can either handle it or you can't handle it."

Bale has been jeered by some Real supporters in the past few weeks for not passing the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo

Chris Coleman and Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has featured for Chris Coleman's side in the opening four Euro 2016 qualifiers

'Disaster', 'irrelevant' and 'listless' were some of the words the Spanish media used to describe his performance in the European champions' worst derby defeat since a 5-0 loss in 1947.

"In [Bale's] first season they won the Champions League, which was their holy grail - and he was a huge part of that campaign," said Coleman.

"It's his turn now to get some criticism.

"It won't bother him. He'll be fine. He'll get through it."

Coleman is also confident the criticism will not affect his star man before Wales' key Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel in March.

Wales remain unbeaten and second in Group B, one point behind leaders Israel.

The Wales manager believes that the international break next month will work in Bale's favour.

"He can come away with us and forget about [the criticism] and block it out," said Coleman.

"He'll be focused on [European qualification] when he'll be with us. No doubt about it."

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