Gareth Bale is determined to ensure Wales won’t suffer a Leicester City style fall from grace and are determined to prove their success at Euro 2016 wasn’t a one-off.
The Real Madrid superstar, who crowned his return from injury with a goal just 12 minutes into his comeback against Espanyol last weekend, will soon turn his attentions to reviving Wales’ World Cup qualifying hopes.
After enjoying unprecedented success back in the summer, Chris Coleman’s side have endured something of a hangover.
Three draws in their opening four games has seen the Euro 2016 semi-finalists fall four points behind Group D pacesetters Ireland.
Wales’ predicament has been compared to that of Premier League champions Leicester, who are staring relegation full in the face just nine months on from the crowning moment of their own underdog fairy tale.
Bale admitted that, as in the case of Leicester, maintaining momentum has represented a significant challenge for a squad whose exploits are about to hit the silver screen in the form of Jonny Owen’s latest documentary ‘Don’t Take Me Home’, which can be seen in cinemas from March, 3.
“It’s very difficult from coming off such a high,” he told Metro.co.uk when asked if Wales faced a similar challenge to Leicester, who take a break from their domestic struggles tonight and face Sevilla in the Champions League.
“We haven’t performed badly in any of the games. The Serbia one comes to mind. We dominated most of the game and had a lot of chances and they scored in the last minute to equalise.
“I still think we’re performing very well. We are still trying to reach those standards we set for ourselves and we’ll continue to keep working hard together to be united as a team and country and try to qualify for the World Cup.
“We always said as a team speaking about qualifying we don’t just want to qualify for one tournament we want to qualify for every tournament that we possibly can.
“The next one is a World Cup and everyone wants to test themselves there and to be involved in it. We’re no different, our mindset is focused on qualifying and we’ll continue to fight until the end,” said Bale.
Spirit, unity and pride were pivotal in helping Wales overcome the odds in the summer, but Bale feels that sense of togetherness was solidified by defeat to England which he picked out as his surprising highlight of the tournament.
“I think it (defeat to England) was probably the best moment to be honest. You don’t like losing but it gave us the hunger not to feel like that again in the tournament,’ Bale added.
“We wanted to keep battling on and after the England game I think we played our best football.” – Metro UK