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European Qualifiers Group B

Coleman hails Bale show

Wales boss Chris Coleman hailed Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid star inspired Wales to a 3-1 friendly win over Iceland.

Last Updated: 06/03/14 at 10:40 Post Comment

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Bale had a hand in the hosts' first two goals, with James Collins and Sam Vokes twice giving Wales the lead, while the 24-year-old added a superb third 20 minutes from time before leaving the field to a standing ovation.

Special ticket offers were in place for the game at the Cardiff City Stadium and Coleman believes that these were generous considering Bale's extraordinary talents.

"Well you'd pay a lot more wouldn't you?" he told Sky Sports.

"Some of the things he does are absolutely fantastic, it really is.

"Once we're in a game, if it's 1-0 to us, 1-1 or even 1-0 down, with him on the pitch, we just know we've got a chance to score and the opposition know that. That's a great confidence booster for us.

"He's an amazing player, a fantastic player."

It was a fairly routine win for Wales, who were rarely threatened by Iceland, and Coleman believes that his side are progressing nicely.

"We talked before the game started about ticking boxes and ultimately we wanted to win the game," he said.

"We want to win any game we play for, especially when you are representing your country. We did that and also we got a new cap in Emyr Huws who did very, very well.

"I was pleased for big Sam Vokes as well getting a goal, he's worked so hard.

"Overall, there's a little bit of criticism in the second half, it got a bit sloppy towards the end but we've got to be disciplined to see the game out and do the right things.

"Had we done that in the Finland game, we'd have won that also but we conceded last minute. We've got to learn from those lessons.

"They're a good team, Iceland. It was a good win for us, it gives us a nice confidence boost going into another tough one we've got in June away to Holland which we're thoroughly looking forward to."

Coleman also praised 20-year-old Emyr Huws as the Manchester City midfielder, who is currently on loan at Birmingham, impressed on his full international debut.

"He's not shy, Emyr. He's been a joy as well to have in the camp," he said.

"He's done very, very well with Geraint Williams in the under 21s and I speak with Lee Clark at Birmingham City who said he's being doing fantastic.

"I had no qualms about putting him in. He's a confident boy. He fits in with the way we want to play, he's got a lovely left foot.

"He worked incredibly hard to win the ball back for us tonight and I thought he showed maturity in his positional play. Good for him, he deserved the chance and he took it."

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