Gareth Bale absence won’t affect Wales, says Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman admits the absence of Gareth Bale is a huge blow ahead of two crucial World Cup Qualifiers

Gareth Bale’s absence is nothing Wales are not used to, says Chris Coleman, who has backed his side to cope without their talisman.

Wales play Georgia live on Sky Sports Football on Thursday night without Real Madrid forward Bale, who has a calf strain, with Coleman admitting his side need to win to have a chance of topping Group D in World Cup qualifying.

Georgia vs Wales

October 6, 2017, 4:30pm

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Coleman has had to make do without at least one of Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen for five of their eight qualifiers to date, and the Wales boss believes his squad has enough depth without what he admits are his “three best players”.

“We’re used to it,” Coleman told Sky Sports News, when asked if Bale’s absence would affect Wales’ chances of qualifying for Russia 2018.

“It’s international football so you have to get on with it. We’re still strong enough to go to other countries and get points. Tomorrow night is no different.

“In many ways our bench is as strong as it’s been. Some young talent, but in terms of potential and talent we have a really good bench.

“Gareth Bale missing from any team is a loss, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not to say what we’ve got is not enough, because it is good enough to compete against anybody. That’s the attitude we’ll have tomorrow, no doubt.”

Coleman admits Serbia’s four-point advantage at the top of the group means automatic qualification is “theirs to lose”, and only a win against Georgia will give them any hope of taking first place.

If Serbia finish as group champions, Wales may also need to take all three points in their final qualifier against the Republic of Ireland to have the chance to reach the World Cup through a play-off decider, but Coleman will not look past Georgia yet.

“If we want to have a say in winning the group, then it needs to be a win,” Coleman added. “We never look past the next game.”