You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

'I want to take the pressure off him so we're not reliant on one player': Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale can't be expected to do everything as nation embarks on Euro 2020 qualifying campaign

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 20/3/2019 Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport

Wales manager Ryan Giggs wants to take the pressure off Gareth Bale heading into the 2020 European Championship campaign.

Bale is just a few months short of his 30th birthday, but the Real Madrid striker remains Wales' main man ahead of Sunday's opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia in Cardiff.

Wales' record goalscorer completed his first 90 minutes of 2019 on Saturday and scored as Real beat Celta Vigo 2-0 in La Liga.

Gareth Bale in a red shirt: Wales manager Ryan Giggs says the team cannot just rely on star man Gareth Bale © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Wales manager Ryan Giggs says the team cannot just rely on star man Gareth Bale Ryan Giggs with his mouth open: Giggs and his Wales team are about to embark on their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Giggs and his Wales team are about to embark on their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign

'Usually when Gareth scores he goes on a run, so that's good for us,' Giggs said ahead of the pre-Slovakia friendly with Trinidad & Tobago in Wrexham on Wednesday.

'We all know what a talent he is, and if he plays games he'll score goals.

'But also I want to take the pressure off him at the same time, so if he's not available we're not just reliant on one player.'

Bale is unlikely to start the Trinidad & Tobago game, allowing Giggs to cast his eye over his young forwards with Sam Vokes and Tom Lawrence both ruled out by injury.

Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Chelsea midfielder Ethan Ampadu (back) are also absent, although the former is expected to be fit for the Slovakia game.

Gareth Bale, Ashley Williams are posing for a picture: Bale pictured in training alongside Ashley Williams as Wales prepare for Wednesday night's friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Bale pictured in training alongside Ashley Williams as Wales prepare for Wednesday night's friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham a group of people playing football on a field: The Wales team train at Manchester United's Carrington training complex on Tuesday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Wales team train at Manchester United's Carrington training complex on Tuesday

Wales Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures 

Sunday Slovakia (H)

June 8 Croatia (A)

June 11 Hungary (A)

September 6 Azerbaijan (H)

October 10 Slovakia (A)

October 13 Croatia (H)

November 16 Azerbaijan (A)

November 19 Hungary (H) 

'With the emergence of Harry Wilson, David Brooks and Dan James we've got so many attacking options,' Giggs said.

'That's what I want. But you have to recognise that you've got a special player, one of the best in the world, and play to his strengths also.

'The Trinidad & Tobago game will be a balancing act as players are at different stages.

'Some players need games, some players don't. But I've challenged those that will play to impress because there are still places up for grabs on Sunday.'

Veteran Ashley Williams is likely to captain Wales and win his 84th cap as the on-loan Stoke defender needs game-time.

Williams has not started for Stoke since the start of February, but two appearances for Wales this week will see him equal the 85-cap mark of Gary Speed and become his country's joint-third most capped player.

'To think I would get as many caps as Gary Speed when I won my first one was unthinkable,' Williams said.

'It would be a massive achievement. To actually achieve that would be something I would be very proud of.'

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon