Wales can win in Serbia without Gareth Bale – Chris Gunter

Chris Gunter says Wales will prove they are not a one-man team as they attempt to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive without Gareth Bale.

The Real Madrid forward picked up his second yellow card of the campaign during Friday’s 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Bale will miss one game through suspension, the visit to Group D leaders Serbia on June 11.

“It’s up to us to fill that gap, go there and get a result,” Gunter said.

Neil Taylor will also be absent in Belgrade, the Aston Villa defender facing a potential three-match ban for the challenge which saw Republic captain Seamus Coleman require surgery on his shattered right leg.

Winning without Bale

Reading defender Gunter, who became Wales’ joint-third most capped player on Friday, says Wales have shown they can win without key players, even Bale, the world’s second most expensive player.

“We’ve missed important players in the past and we’ve always said it’s not a one-man team,” Gunter said. “For Gaz to play well, he needs the team. That won’t change in the summer.

“You’d rather him in your team, but he’s not there and we’ve got to get a result.

“We’re more than capable with the squad we have to go and do that, with or without any of our players.

“We will deal with it and move on.”

Bale, who has scored four goals in this campaign, has not missed a competitive international since October 2013 – having featured in 21 successive competitive matches.

His absence comes at a difficult time for third-placed Wales who are four points adrift of Serbia and the Republic of Ireland at the halfway stage, having drawn four of their five matches in Group D.

But Gunter said: “We’ve still got enough games to put a run of wins together and you can’t predict how other results will go.

“We’d like to have picked up a couple more points, but it’s never easy to qualify.

“We’re still unbeaten and we’re not far away from turning these draws into victories.

“Even though it could be better, we’re not in the worst position we’ve ever been in.

“We’ve shown in the past that we can go anywhere and put wins together. We’ve got to remember that and stay positive.”

‘There was a bit of needle’

The Dublin draw was overshadowed by the horrendous injury to Everton defender Coleman.

Coleman was treated at length on the pitch and given oxygen before being taken off the field on a stretcher.

Asked if there was some incitement, with Republic midfielder Glenn Whelan having earlier struck his Stoke team-mate Joe Allen with a flailing forearm, Wales manager Chris Coleman said: “Our boys will stand up for themselves because you have to.

“Take the Seamus Coleman incident out of it and there was a bit of needle, but you’ve got to expect that.

“What you don’t expect is for anybody to come off with a serious injury – you don’t want to see that.

“But there are no complaints for me, saying the Irish boys are this, that or the other. Ireland did what they needed to do.”

‘Devastated’ Taylor was ‘numb’

The Wales manager continued his defence of Villa defender Taylor.

“He’s numb,” he said. “He hasn’t said a word. I was the first one into the dressing room after the game, he was sitting on the floor with his head in his hands.

“But no matter how badly he feels, or we feel, it’s worse for Seamus. Like I say, Neil’s not that type of player. He’s had a bad break himself, he knows what that is all about.

“He’s absolutely devastated. That doesn’t make it any easier for Seamus or the Republic of Ireland, of course.

“We’ve never really been in this situation, to be honest with you, where we’ve had to defend anything like this. I defend Neil as a person. He’s a lovely lad. He’s a gentleman.”

Source: BBC

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