Coleman: No fear on Gareth Bale's Wales future

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale joined Madrid for a world record £86 million from Tottenham Hotspur

Chris Coleman has dismissed fears over Gareth Bale's long term availability for Wales despite his absence in the forthcoming Euro 2016 warm-up games.

Bale will miss Thursday's clash with Northern Ireland in Cardiff and the trip to the Ukraine on March 28 after consultation with Real Madrid.

But Coleman says the "joint decision," will have no long term consequences.

"If you look at his record he is not a player who misses games unless he has to," said the Wales manager.

Bale, 26, is missing the two friendlies because of fitness concerns.

The Ukraine game is also scheduled the day before Bale's partner Emma Rhys-Jones is due to give birth to their second child.

Wales' last superstar player, Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs, was criticised for missing friendlies when he was playing for his national team.

Never wants to miss out

And there were worries over Bale's availability when the 54-times capped forward went to Real Madrid.

But Coleman said: '"If you look at his record he is not a player that misses unless he has to. He is not a player that says 'you know what may be I don't need to be there.'

"He knows we need him whenever we can have him and if it's possible for him to be here, he is always here.

"He is not a player that we look at and think 'maybe he will, maybe he won't,' he always does. You know if he is not here it is not possible for him to be here."

Coleman added: "People at the start of the campaign said, they won't get him now because he is in Madrid, that we would not get him as much. But this has been his best form for Wales.

Better off in La Liga

"I never once worried when he went to Madrid. From a personal point of view, I thought it would be better for us.

"I know La Liga, it's a great league, but I have said before, it's a slower tempo than the Premier League. It's less taxing physically so it's better for us he is out there.

"Physically when we get him he's probably better than when he is playing 45 or 55 games for Spurs in the Premier League and cup games. That is way more taxing to play in, than La Liga.

"So, if we're being selfish it is better for us he stays where he is."

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