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Arsenal can lay down a marker


Bale allays fears over ankle injury

Wales star Gareth Bale confirmed he hopes to play in next Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Croatia, despite being withdrawn from the action after just 45 minutes on Friday night's game against Scotland at Hampden Park. • Blog: Bale plan doesn't stop Wales There were fears that a strong tackle from Scotland's Grant Hanley had aggravated an ankle injury that had left Bale doubtful for the game in Glasgow, but the Tottenham talisman took to Twitter to assure his fans that his ankle was not the reason for his non-appearance after the half-time interval. "Just clearing the air... nothing wrong with my ankle," Bale tweeted. "I came off at HT due to the stomach virus I've had all week. Should be ok for Tuesday."

Bale's comments backed the optimistic prognosis of Wales manager Chris Coleman as he was quizzed on the aborted performance of his star man on a night when his side collected a battling 2-1 victory against the Scots. "He's okay," Coleman said when quizzed about Bale. "He had a bang on his ankle which was sore to start with but he's okay. Unfortunately we had to bring Gareth off at half time, but it doesn't look too bad." Coleman admitted questions would have been asked about his future as Wales manager if his players had not responded with a stirring second half comeback and now he is targeting another win against Croatia on Tuesday night. "I said we needed six points from these two games if we are going to threaten Belgium and Croatia," Coleman said of the runaway Group A leaders. "Now we have to take something from the game on Tuesday. "If we'd have lost tonight questions would have been asked of me again, I know that, but we have won so let's dust ourselves down and go against Crotia in a few days time."


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