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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Coleman: Bale committed to Wales

Wales manager Chris Coleman remains confident Gareth Bale is "passionate about playing for Wales", dismissing Chris Waddle's claim the winger should focus on his club career.

Bale has scored 11 goals in his past 10 games for club and country, making him one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

Wales, meanwhile, face a difficult challenge to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, sitting seven points adrift of pacesetters Croatia and Belgium. Waddle, a former England international, believes Bale will have more success at club level, but Coleman says the 23-year-old is committed to the cause.

"Gareth is passionate about playing for Wales. When he's here he gives his best, he's either scoring goals or making goals and obviously loves being here.

"You have people who will come out and say things, and it's surprising someone who has played international football as Chris did for England has come out and said things like that.

"I am sure he was passionate about playing for England, so why is Wales any different? Alright, we haven't qualified (for a major finals) since 1958 but we're a small nation and it will always be hard.

"Does that mean we can't be passionate about playing for our country, playingin every game and wanting to win every game? Does it mean if we don't qualify it doesn't matter? It's nonsense. Whoever you play for or play against for your country it means something and it does for Gareth."

Coleman was also less than impressed with former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage, who described the 'Battle of Britain' meeting with Scotland as "not a huge game" given how far the sides are off the pace in Group A.

"I can't control what's said outside our camp and I'm not too bothered what's said," added Coleman.

"But I've said before, I've never been involved in a game for Wales where it didn't matter. I was quite surprised by the comments that there's nothing on it - there's always something on it when you play for your country as simple as that, it is in my book.

"It's never nothing in an international game. Against Austria it was a friendly but there was still something on it. It's a massive game, huge. We're going there to get points and I will take our strongest side to do it."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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