Bale: Wales have turned corner


Published: Saturday 11th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Gareth Bale believes Wales have turned a corner in their bid to qualify for the European Championship finals.

Wales were roundly criticised for their performance in last month’s Euro 2016 opener in Andorra when Bale’s brace spared huge embarrassment in a 2-1 victory over the Pyrenees’ part-timers.

But Wales produced a committed performance to hold top seeds Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cardiff on Friday night and now top Group B with four points from two games.

Belgium and Israel won their first games in the group on Friday after their fixture last month was postponed because of the political situation in the Middle East, but Bale admits being top of the section provides Wales with plenty of confidence heading into Monday’s home qualifier with Cyprus.

“We feel like we’ve turned a corner,” Bale said after the goalless draw with the Bosnians at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We go into Cyprus full of confidence but knowing we need to focus and concentrate.

“We need to get the three points and hopefully we can get another big crowd here on Monday.”

More than 30,000 turned out at the Cardiff City Stadium to see Wales match the Bosnians even though they were missing influential midfield pair Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen through injury.

It was Wales’ biggest home crowd since they hosted England at the Millennium Stadium in March 2011 and Bale felt the supporters played their part in helping them collect a precious point.

“The fans were absolutely amazing,” he said.

“It was great to have a full house almost and hopefully we’ve done them proud.

“Probably on another night the last 10 minutes is a lot more difficult without that and they were unbelievable.

“They showed they were true Welsh fans, they pushed us over the line and kept us going for the last 10 to 15 minutes.”

The result maintains Wales’ three-point advantage over Bosnia as the visitors had surprisingly lost their opening qualifier at home to Cyprus last month.

And Wales could stretch that gap even further on Monday night with Bosnia entertaining Belgium at the same time as Chris Coleman’s side play Cyprus in Cardiff.

“It’s not an easy group by any stretch of the imagination,” Bale said.

“We want to win every game but I think a draw is still a very good result against the top seeds of the group.

“We showed passion and fighting spirit and the fans appreciated that we left nothing on the pitch.

“It could have been three points but we showed great character and great spirit and a point against a very good team is good.

“We didn’t leave a blade of grass unturned on the pitch and it was a great team performance.”

Published: Saturday 11th October 2014 by The News Editor

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