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John Brown believes that Wales are "average" without the Tottenham attacker, indicating that the Scottish midfield cannot allow him any time or space to run with the ball

Former Rangers defender John Brown has hinted that Scotland should foul Wales winger Gareth Bale before he gets the chance to hurt them in Friday's World Cup qualifier.

The Tottenham attacker was the difference in the two side's previous fixture in Cardiff, in which he scored both goals in a 2-1 victory, and looks as if he will recover from an ankle knock to make the return fixture.

And Brown, who earned the nickname 'Bomber' due to his hard-man style as a player, indicates that foul play may be the only way to deal with the 23-year-old.

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"With the pace that he's got and the close control ... he can't run without legs," the Dundee boss told BBC Radio Scotland. "I'm sure it'll be passed around the squad. Get close to him and don't give him time and space."

The comments sparked outrage from Wales fans, who demanded that he clarify what he meant, but, when asked if he was implying the Scottish players should try and "hurt" Bale, Brown replied: "It might have been.

"One player in the Wales team won the game that night [in Cardiff]; cancel him out and the Welsh team are average," he added.

"I watched the game down there and the difference was Gareth Bale, when you give him time and space to run with the ball and strike it with his strong foot from 30 yards.

"Scott Brown was taken off, Charlie Adam came on and he never did a job on him. Your midfield, you get them tight, make sure your defence is compact and you make sure you're losing all the space for him.

"Gordon Strachan will know what he's doing. If he can nullify Bale I think the Welsh team are average."

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