Tom Lawrence insists Wales will not be fazed by the loss of Gareth Bale for their final two World Cup Qualifiers.
News of Bale’s injury was confirmed on Tuesday, meaning he will miss the forthcoming matches against Georgia and Republic of Ireland in Group D.
The Football Association of Wales said Bale’s withdrawal was due to scan results on an injured calf, which was confirmed following talks with his club Real Madrid.
Wales need to win both games to at least make next month’s World Cup play-offs, but their record without Bale does not make pretty reading.
The Dragons have won only eight of the 33 games Bale has missed since making his debut in 2006, while Wales have won none of the last 10 when the 28-year-old forward has been absent.
But Derby striker Lawrence, who is now expected to carry more of an attacking burden in the last two matches, believes Wales have shown they can prosper without Bale.
Georgia vs Wales
October 6, 2017, 4:30pm
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Wales drew 1-1 away to group leaders Serbia in June when Bale was suspended and Lawrence said: “He’s a big loss, but that doesn’t faze us. We’ve been without him before and will deal with it again.
“It’s obviously a massive loss because he’s a great player who plays for Real Madrid.
“But we’ve got a strong squad and whoever comes in needs to step up and do a job.
“We’ve got a good group and they will want to put a shift in.”
As for taking Bale’s spot, Lawrence added: “I wouldn’t say I can replace him. I’m a different kind of player to Gareth.
“But I think I’ve gained the manager’s trust and hopefully I’ve repaid him with performances and there is more to come.
“These two massive games are up there with the biggest that we have had and hopefully we can do it.”