14 October 2014 09:23
Chris Coleman has called on referees to give his star man Gareth Bale more protection following Wales’ bruising 2-1 win over Cyprus.
Bale was part of Coleman’s Wales team that made it seven points from three Euro 2016 qualifiers with a hard-fought victory in Cardiff on Tuesday.
Five Cyprus players were cautioned during the Group B encounter, with Real Madrid forward Bale clearly targeted for some rough treatment from the visitors, and Wales’ Andy King was given his marching orders for a challenge on Constantinos Makridis early in the second half.
While Coleman knows opposing teams often have little choice but to stop the mercurial Bale by foul means, he has urged officials to clamp down on tackles that overstep the mark.
“Baley knows before he walks on the pitch [that] he’s going to get kicked. I know that and I’m not complaining about that,” he said.
“Cyprus have got to do what they think right’s to win the game, but the referee’s there for a reason – to make a decision.
“When we play opposition in their back yard, their star players het rewards, they get free-kicks, but it doesn’t happen for us.
“That makes you nervous and you lose a bit of trust with the officials.
“The red card was a heavy challenge but if he sends one of ours off, surely he can send one or two of theirs off because they weren’t shy either.”
Wales had to make do without a host of first-team players such as Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen for the visits of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus during this international break.
And Coleman had nothing but praise for the way his side, who sit top of Group B, handled the two games.
“The players were absolutely magnificent,” he added.
“We’ve only had one defeat in eight games and we’ve not lost here for a year.
“People have questioned the players’ team spirit and [whether they] want to play for Wales, but I don’t think I have to answer that anymore.”