I wouldn't waste my time if Wales couldn't reach Euro 2020 - Bale

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The Real Madrid striker remains convinced that his side, beaten semi-finalists in 2016, can reach the showpiece event in just under a year's time

Gareth Bale believes that Wales can still qualify for next year's European Championships, adding that he would not waste his time playing for his nation if he did not think they were capable.

The Real Madrid striker nabbed a late victory on Friday in Group E with a header to hand Ryan Giggs' side a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan in Cardiff.

The result took them to six points from four games, keeping them only one win behind joint-leaders Croatia and Hungary as the qualification stage enters its second half.

They sit level with Slovakia, who they play next month in what could prove to be a crucial encounter, and Bale, though willing to acknowledge that his country's team are still adapting to Giggs' style of play, has no doubt that the Euro 2016 semi-finalists can reach next year's pancontinental tournament.

"Yeah definitely, I wouldn't be here otherwise, I would not be wasting my time," the former Tottenham man told the media ahead of Monday's friendly against Belarus.

"I love playing for my country, I love trying to qualify for major tournaments and having that taste of it at Euro 2016 gives you that hunger to do it again and to experience what we did.

"We all still fully believe we can and we hope the public still believes and give us all the support we need because they're the 12th man.

"I think we're still working on things and there's things we're improving on. We're working on [Giggs'] style of play, what he wants us to do and sometimes it does take a bit of time.

"I think that's why it's good now to have a friendly. A match situation is always more intense and more difficult to do things than in training.

"We still want to keep that winning mentality and get that momentum building and by winning games that's what you do."

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With his effort on Friday, the 30-year-old moved four clear of Ian Rush as the leading scorer in Wales' history with 32, and he admitted that he hopes to reach a certain private miletone if he can.

"I've got a little target in my head but it's just one of those personal goals," he added.

"If I achieve it, great, but if I don't then it's okay. It's something I'd like to do but the most important thing is to win games for my country and to give fans something to cheer about."

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