Bale proud of team spirit

Bale proud of team spirit

Gareth Bale feels team unity could propel Wales all the way to the European Championship finals in France.

TogetherStronger is the motto driving on Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign with supporters buying into the message as over 50,000 of them turned up for the two qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus this week.

Wales took four points from those two games and Bale admits that togetherness was the force behind beating Cyprus with 10 men to head into next month’s trip to section favourites Belgium, who sit top of Group B.

“It’s not all plain sailing in any game and we didn’t have the greatest of luck with the (Andy King) sending off but the team spirit is incredible,” Bale said.

“Maybe in different campaigns we wouldn’t have won that game but I’ve said before we’ve all turned a corner.

“When we come away with Wales now everybody loves being there, the banter’s flying and everyone gets along together and has a laugh together.

“There’s no single groups and it shows on the pitch, everyone’s fighting for every ball together and that shows in the results we’re getting.”

Having relied upon Bale to dig them out of a huge hole in their opening qualifier in Andorra last month – the Real Madrid star scored twice, including a late free-kick winner – Wales came into the two home qualifiers seriously weakened by injuries.

Key midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were among those absent for both games and manager Chris Coleman had lost no less than 11 players by the time Wales kicked off against Cyprus on Monday night.

But Bale hailed the depth in the current Welsh set-up with Sky Bet Championship players David Cotterill and Hal Robson-Kanu providing the goals to beat Cyprus 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“The players coming in now show we’ve got a good depth and whoever comes in does a fantastic job,” Bale said.

“We’ve got a lot of injuries but we haven’t moaned once and we’ve just got on with the job.

“The minimum points we wanted from these two games was four and we knew Bosnia was going to be a difficult game.

“They’re a very good team and a point against them was a good result.

“We definitely thought we could beat Cyprus and it was obviously difficult circumstances, but we got the job done which is the most important thing.”

Wales had to battle for the three points after striker Simon Church suffered a dislocated shoulder in the opening moments before midfielder King was sent off two minutes into the second half for a bad tackle on Cyprus captain Constantinos Makrides.

Bale was booked for dissent following that incident and the 25-year-old was a central figure in an enthralling contest, setting up the second goal for Robson-Kanu with a brilliant back heel and providing 10-man Wales with a constant attacking outlet while all the time being the subject of some brutal treatment from Cypriot defenders.

“You’d hope they get the same treatment as us and I’m sure a few of them should probably have got a bit more than they did,” Bale said of a physical Cyprus team which collected five cautions.

“But it’s normal getting taken out sometimes and you just have to dust yourself off and go again.

“I didn’t think it was a red card (for King) and that’s why I had a little argument with the referee and unfortunately got booked.

“But when a decision’s made you have to get your head down and get on with it and we definitely did that.

“Everybody did that and I thought we fully deserved the win.”

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