June 9, 2017 / 10:59 AM / 2 months ago

Wales can handle Serbia without Bale, says Allen

Britain Football Soccer - Wales Press Conference - The Vale Resort, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales - June 8, 2017 Wales' Joe Allen during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic

REUTERS - Wales are potent enough to cope with the absence of suspended playmaker Gareth Bale against Group D leaders Serbia in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday, midfielder Joe Allen has said.

Wales are third in their group, four points behind Serbia, having drawn four of their five matches so far with Bale scoring in each of their last two games.

"We are going to miss him, there is no point hiding from that fact," Allen was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"He's key to us and he's a world-class player, but one of the main qualities of this group is that we're all about team work and we are all about resilience.

"I like to think we have always got a 'plan B' even when we have him playing... You learn that and whether its offensively or defensively we have to deal with the Serbians in many different ways."

Wales suffered one of their heaviest defeats at the hands of Serbia, who beat them 6-1 at Belgrade in 2012.

"For me it was the worst night in a Welsh shirt," Allen said. "Some of the lads are still in the squad, some are new players, but we are a million miles away from the team that turned out that night.

"That's a positive and I think we can draw on that going into this game. As players you cannot help but carry that feeling of wanting to set the record straight."

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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