Wales coach praises 'ultimate professional' Bale as striker prepares for 110th cap-Xinhua

Wales coach praises 'ultimate professional' Bale as striker prepares for 110th cap

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-11-24 23:56:45

DOHA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Wales coach Robert Page is expecting a close affair when his side faces Iran in their second World Cup Group B match on Friday.

Wales goes into the game with a point after their 1-1 draw against the USA on Monday, while Iran plays after losing their opening match of the tournament 6-2 to England.

However, Page said in his pre-game press conference that he isn't expecting that result to have any effect on Iran's performance against his side.

"They would have looked at the fixtures and forecast where points are going to come from."

"Both teams need to win, and we want to win too, so it should make for an entertaining game," he said, before adding that midfielder Joe Allen was "fit and raring to go" after missing the opening game as he put the finishing touches to his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Allen will certainly offer the better movement of the ball in midfield, but the question is whether he will be able to stand the pace in a 1 p.m. kick-off when the temperature in Qatar is at its highest.

"We've got a decision to make on that - what's best for the team," admitted Page, who also had praise for the captain, Gareth Bale.

"He is the ultimate professional," commented the coach adding that the Los Angeles FC player had "been recovering doing his own little bits and he'll be ready at the start of that game."

Bale also addressed the press on the eve of becoming the record holder for appearances for the Welsh team with 110 caps, beating Chris Gunter's record.

"I haven't really been focusing on the cap thing, to be honest, just trying to focus on the game."

"It's an amazing achievement and honor to represent my country so many times but it's more important we win tomorrow and make it even more special," he said.

He insisted that Iran's result against England did not mean the Welsh should be overconfident.

"We will not think because England won 6-2, it will be a walkover. We will not be sucked into that," Bale insisted.