Chris Coleman: Gareth Bale needs protection from referee

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The Wales manager is hoping Tottenham's Bale will receive the required amount of protection after Dundee manager John Brown's inflammatory comments ahead of tonight's match against Scotland in Glasgow.

Antony Gautier is the referee who takes charge of the game and is not shy in handing out red cards.  The 36-year-old has issued 10 red cards in 20 games and five in the last five matches he has officiated.

Coleman told a press conference: “In any game it’s important to have a strong referee. I’ve been here when it’s a full house and it’s intimidating. As a manager or player you want to play in atmospheres like that.

“A referee’s job is tough, but we know that they are being scrutinised more and more as we all are. It’s hard for referees. We’re just asking for a fair crack of the whip.

“This is going to be a tough game. It will be a typical British derby, so there will be challenges and it might get a bit heavy but going out and trying to snap, break someone’s legs, if somebody is insinuating that’s the way to go about it, I’ve no respect for that."

Bale has put in a lot of effort to ensure he is fit and available for the important World Cup qualifier.  

The 23-year-old has had a stomach bug this week and flew to Glasgow alone to meet his teammates there.

The Tottenham front man has also had to overcome an ankle problem and was bed-ridden for two days and kept away from the rest of the Wales squad.

Bale had a 30-minute training session on his own at Hampden Park and Coleman is confident the on-fire winger will start the Group A match as Wales look to win their third win in four matches.

Coleman added: “Gareth flew up later than us because he had a bit of a virus. We wanted to separate him from the lads for other reasons.

“We could not do any sessions with him and he just needed rest. The doctors and medical team are happy with his response and he’s in good spirits. He wants to be here. He is getting better every day and hopefully he will have a good night’s sleep and be ready on Friday.

“The ankle is OK. He had a scan, but that’s not such a big concern. It is the illness that has kept him out of training for a few days.

“He’s in my plans because otherwise it would have been pointless to have brought him up. He’s not trained but he knows how we play and his role.”

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