Coleman: Bale focused on Wales as much as Tottenham

The Dragons boss has dismissed a notion from former England winger Chris Waddle that the Spurs star should prioritise his domestic progression ahead of his international future

Wales manager Chris Coleman has rejected suggestions from former England winger Chris Waddle that star Gareth Bale should put his club career ahead his international future.

Waddle believes the Tottenham forward could suffer, like Ryan Giggs' did, because he may never play at a major international tournament.

However Coleman has dismissed such notions, arguing that Bale has always been passionate about playing for Wales and that he will continue to be so in the future.

"It’s surprising that someone who has played international football as Chris [Waddle] has done for England has come out and said things like that," Coleman told reporters.

"I’m sure he was passionate about playing for England, so why is Wales any different?

"Alright, we haven’t qualified since 1958, but we’re a small nation and it will always be hard. But does that mean we can’t be passionate about playing for our country and wanting to win every game? Does it mean if we don’t qualify it doesn’t matter? It’s nonsense.

"Gareth is passionate about playing for Wales. When he’s here he gives his best, he’s either scoring or making goals. At times he’s just unstoppable.

"No matter what you do as a manager of the opposition, when you have a player who is capable of doing what he does there’s not a lot you can do to stop him. He’s a top, top player."

With Wales lying in a lowly fifth position in their World Cup qualifying group ahead of the upcoming clash against Scotland, Coleman also rejected suggestions that the fixture was little more than a meaningless local rivalry in the context of their otherwise faint hopes of going to Brazil in 2014.

He added: "There’s always something on a game when you play for your country. I’ve never been involved in a game for Wales where it didn’t matter.

"It’s Scotland versus Wales at Hampden Park. What are we going to do? Throw the kids in?

"To be honest, we’ve not got many kids left when you look at the age of our side. It’s a massive game. We’re going there to get points and I will take our strongest side to do it."