Chris Gunter: Reading boss Jaap Stam impressed by fitness of Wales defender

Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale
Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale were formerly teammates at Tottenham Hotspur

Reading manager Jaap Stam has hailed the fitness and conditioning of Wales defender Chris Gunter.

The 27-year old is in line to win his 74th cap when Wales begin their World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Moldova on 5 September.

Gunter played 66 matches for club and country last season after helping Wales to the semi final of Euro 2016.

"Chris is a great guy, he is very fit," Stam told BBC Wales Sport. "He has the qualities we want in this team."

Gunter played the full 90 minutes of Reading's 1-0 Championship win at former club Cardiff City on Saturday.

Already Wales' joint-fifth most capped player alongside Peter Nicholas and record goalscorer Ian Rush, Gunter has time on his side to beat Neville Southall's record of 92 appearances.

Former Manchester United defender Stam, who represented the Netherlands on 67 occasions, says Gunter is a model professional on and off the field.

"He has that drive and physique that means he can play a lot of games," Stam said.

"He keeps on doing it and is the type of professional who is always taking care of himself and knows what to do not only on the pitch but off it as well.

"Rest, food, he knows what to do and he wants to play all the time."

"It is always nice when you have to force players to take a rest! We don't like the players who pretend to be injured."

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