News ID: 126016
Published: 0626 GMT September 02, 2015

Coleman issues warning on Bale

Coleman issues warning on Bale

Wales boss Chris Coleman warned Cyprus to forget about attempting to bully Gareth Bale.

Cyprus employed strong-arm tactics to try and curb Bale when Wales beat the team 2-1 in its European Qualifier in Cardiff last October — picking up five bookings on a night when Coleman's side was actually reduced to 10 men following Andy King's dangerous second-half challenge, skysports.com reported.

Coleman expects Cyprus to make it just as hard for them in Nicosia tonight when Group B leader Wales hope to take a massive step toward qualification for its first major competition finals since 1958.

"They gave him [Bale] a little bit and Cyprus is going to do what it has got to do to get a result," Coleman said.

"But Gareth's a strong boy and he knows how to ride a tackle. He can't see everyone coming, but if he gets a clump I expect the referee — whether it's in Wales or in Cyprus — to deal with it accordingly.

"We're not asking for special treatment, we just want normal treatment.

"I remember going to Scotland and an ex-Scottish player said, 'He can't play if he hasn't got any legs'.

"That's fine if you want to try and go and kick him, as long as the referee sees that and deals with it we'll play against nine men or 10 men, but in the last couple of years we've never been bullied."

Wales had to hang on for victory in Cardiff after King's rash challenge on Cyprus midfielder Constantinos Makridis forced the team to play the final 42 minutes with 10 men.

But Coleman felt Cyprus was fortunate to finish the game with a full complement of players after dishing out some rough treatment to Bale and company.

"One or two of their challenges the boundaries weren't stepped over, they were hopped over," he added.

"They'll make it difficult for us again, but why should they make it easy?

"We'll just concentrate on what we want to do."

Wales knows victories in Cyprus and at home to Zionist regime on Sunday will end its 58-year wait for qualification for a major final and book its place at next summer's European Championship in France.

Coleman's side tops Group B with 14 points from six games and talisman Bale, who has scored five of Wales' seven goals in qualifying, comes into the game on a high after his brace in Real Madrid's 5-0 victory over Real Betis last weekend.

"You see Cristiano Ronaldo performing for Portugal and what it means to him every game, it's the same with Bale," Coleman said.

"The excitement on his face when he shows up for every game and that's all positive when in the past we've had negative thoughts when maybe this player or that player hasn't turned up because it doesn't mean enough to them.

"I don't think you could ever say that to Bale."

   
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