Wales and Republic of Ireland played out a goalless draw in their international friendly yesterday in Cardiff, Wales. The match was highly anticipated one for the visitors but what the match clearly missed was Gareth Bale and his power and skill. He sat on the bench in his suit and tie, having been ruled out by a foot injury.
The match literally got overshadowed by Gareth Bale’s transfer talk, about whether the Tottenham winger will complete a world record move to Real Madrid or stay with the Spurs.
Coleman, talking on Bale, said, “This week has not really been about Wales and Ireland, to be honest. It’s been about is he going or he is staying, is he playing?
“I can’t grumble because he’s a great player. Only special players get that type of publicity and interest – and he plays for us.
“I’ll take the rough with the smooth all day long.
“It’d be nice for the next game if he is fit and settled somewhere. We hope and pray that happens.”
The Welsh coach was happy to see his team record a first clean sheet under him. He also looked in the favour of FIFA doing away with the August friendlies.
He said: “We kept a clean sheet and I was happy with the input from the lads. It’s the first goalless draw in 40-odd games for Wales
“I know Premier League managers won’t have wanted this game because I’ve been a club manager.
“But I’m on the other side now and it was important time for us because we hadn’t seen each other since March.
“At times we were rusty but we needed that. The next four qualifiers are vital for us. We must now look to finish third in our qualifying group.”
While on the other hand the Ireland manager was pretty disappointed by his team’s performance . He felt that his side should have earned a win ahead of important World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria next month.
The Italian said: “I think a draw is enough for us, but I think we deserved to win because we had three or four great opportunities to score.
“Shane Long, James McClean and Paddy Madden all had chances and we had three chances in quick succession in the first half.
“But it was important to continue our journey and play against a a strong team.
“Wales are a proud side, and they were missing Bale and he is important.
“But it is important we start the season well to have the possibility of going to face Sweden and Austria in September by achieving a good result and giving us the confidence to believe we can do well in those games.”Published 15 Aug 2013, 13:04 IST