Bale: Wales ‘brothers’ aiming to top England’s group

Date published: Saturday 4th June 2016 1:38

Gareth Bale believes Wales are capable of stunning England by winning their Euro 2016 group.

The party line since the Wales squad met up before France is how the first priority is to progress from a group featuring England, Slovakia and Russia into the knock-out stage.

But Real Madrid star Bale, who is expected to figure in Wales’ final Euro 2016 warm-up game against Sweden on Sunday, is not afraid to set his targets higher.

“We’re not going there just to make up the numbers,” Bale told a BBC Wales documentary entitled, “Gareth Bale: Euro Star.”

“We want to win every game that we play, we want to win the group and give ourselves the best chance.

“No matter who we play we feel confident in our abilities we can win.

“We’ll go out there and try and do that.”

Bale has not played for his country since Wales’ qualification for a first major tournament for 58 years was crowned with a 2-0 victory over Andorra in October.

The 26-year-old missed friendlies against Holland, Northern Ireland and Ukraine through injury – all games which Wales failed to win.

But he has kept in touch with his team-mates on a Whats App group the players use.

Cardiff-born Bale came through Wales’ youth teams alongside many of the current senior side, including Aaron Ramsey, Chris Gunter and David Edwards.

And Bale says it is that special bond which will give Wales an advantage when their Group B campaign kicks off against Slovakia in Bordeaux on June 11.

“We all feel like brothers and will literally do anything for each other,” said Bale, fresh from winning a second Champions League title in three seasons at Real.

“We’ve all been together for such a long time and get on really well.

“We know each other’s games and we all fight for each other on the pitch.”

Wales’ trip to Stockholm is their solitary friendly before the Euros, whereas England have played Turkey, Australia and Portugal in the last fortnight.

<> on June 1, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales.

But Wales manager Chris Coleman explained it was a deliberate decision to play just one game on the back of a five-day training camp in Portugal.

“The reason we didn’t have two friendlies like other teams was that we wanted to use part of the time to remind them,” said Coleman.

“Players are coming to us playing different styles at clubs and we don’t play a conventional 4-3-3.

“We play a slightly different way.”

Coleman said Wales had the same policy before beating Belgium 1-0 last summer, the result which turned hope into expectation that they could finally end the long wait for qualification.

“We used the first week as training then on the pitch to re-emphasize things to players,” said Coleman.

“What we want to do, how we want them to work in the system.

“We used the week in Portugal to give them that reminder about what we need from them.

“We want them to know the demands in this formation and the challenge in front of them.”

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