DOHA: Wales forward Gareth Bale said his team needed to give everything they had to beat England in the World Cup on Tuesday, having been “devastated and heartbroken” after their defeat by Iran.
Rob Page's team fell 2-0 against Iran last Friday, while Bale netted a penalty in their opener, a 1-1 draw against the United States, leaving the team bottom of Group B on one point.
To qualify for the last 16 Wales must beat England and hope the US and Iran draw. If there is a winner in the other Group B match, Wales will need to beat England by an unlikely four goals to progress.
“At this current moment we’re not in the greatest of positions, we’ve not had an amazing tournament,“ Bale told a press conference Monday.
“The main thing is that we’ve stuck together as a group, like we’ve always done and we will fight again. We’ll give everything.
“You’ve seen our reaction, when we conceded against Iran, how devastated we all were, lying on the floor, heartbroken.
“Everyone was upset but we’ll all stick together through thick and thin, the ups and downs and we’ll give everything on the pitch.”
Page suggest he would start various younger players to refresh the line-up for the clash against the Three Lions.
The coach would not be drawn on whether Bale and Aaron Ramsey would start the game, but the Los Angeles FC forward said he would lead by example against England.
“The one thing I always do is give 100 percent, I was flying into tackles in the 95th minute the other day,“ added Bale.
“I give everything like I always do for my country. I will try and lead by example for sure and hopefully that’s enough on the day, that’s all I can do.”
- Beatable England -
Wales coach Page said that England were “beatable” and that they owe Wales’ support in Qatar a strong performance.
“We’ve worked so hard to get into this position, my frustration and disappointment for the players is that we’ve shown nowhere near the level of performance that got us to this World Cup,“ admitted Page.
“We’ve got to draw a line under the last performance and irrespective of the other result we’ve got to give a performance.
“This tournament has shown every team is beatable, so of course England are beatable.
“Whatever team (Gareth Southgate) puts on that pitch will be a tough challenge, they will be favourites to win the game. We want to go out now and give a good account of ourselves.”
Bale, 33, has not played a lot football over the past few years, drawing criticism at former club Real Madrid for his frequent injury concerns.
Nice midfielder Ramsey, 31, is another key figure for Wales, but Page kept his cards close to his chest when asked if he and Bale would be fresh enough to start against England.
“It’s a big ask to go four days later from one competitive game to another,“ explained Page.
“I’ll pick a team to go and compete against England, with or without them, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. I won’t give it away.
“If they don’t start, can they come on and make an impact?
“Whether they start or can last an hour, or 90 mins, they are talented players.
“We’re getting a bit of criticism and rightly so, because results aren’t going our way, or performances. That’s the industry we’re in.
“We’ll put our big boy pants on and get on with it and have a team that’s ready for England.” - AFP