Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Robert Page has claimed talisman Gareth Bale is the “fittest I’ve ever seen him” ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League clash against the Republic of Ireland.
Bale, who has 33 goals for his country, missed the previous camp through injury.
“I think the older you get, you lose a bit of sharpness, I experienced that myself, but I’ve not seen any evidence of that in the last two days of training,” Page insisted.
“Some of the things I saw yesterday, it’s the other way. He’s looking just as sharp, just as bright, just as powerful and I think he’s in great shape.
“Some of the things he’s done in training, you take a step back and it’s great to watch.
“He looks to me like he’s enjoying his football. He loves coming away with Wales. He absolutely loves it.”
“As long as I’ve been involved, he’s never missed a camp, only the last one through injury. He’s first through the doors, he’s got a spring in his step when he comes on camp and that’s exactly what I’ve seen the last couple of days.
“Now, being at Tottenham Hotspur with a manager that wants him and wants him to play week-in week-out, or building him up to play 90 minutes consistently, we’ve now got a player on our hands who’s fallen back in love with the game and is enjoying his football. Hopefully, we’ll reap the rewards of that.”
Sunday’s opponents, the Republic of Ireland, have had a disappointing Nations League campaign, recording just two points in their opening four games.
The Boys in Green’s final two fixtures include Sunday’s trip to Cardiff and a clash with Bulgaria, with avoiding relegation a priority.
Having appointed Stephen Kenny as their new first-team manager this year, Wales interim-boss Robert Page expects a stern test this weekend.
“I think they’ve very attack minded at the moment, they look to play out from the back a bit more than they have in the past,” Page acknowledged.
“They’ve got the quality of players to do it. They’re in a transition process of going from one to the other and we’ve been very impressed with what we’ve seen so far and like I said, it’s a work in progress.
“First and foremost, we know that when you play against the Republic of Ireland, it’s going to be a tough battle and we don’t anticipate anything different tomorrow.”
(Featured Image: Dafydd Jones)