Mar 24, 2011

Speed - No Spurs bust-up

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You don't put any blame on Spurs at all, because he played 90 minutes on Saturday and he got through 90 minutes.

Gary Speed on Gareth Bale
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Wales manager Gary Speed insists that there has not been a breakdown in the relationship with Tottenham in the wake of Gareth Bale's injury.

The Spurs winger has been ruled out of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Cardiff after pulling out of a training session on Tuesday due to a pre-existing hamstring injury, before missing Wednesday's session in order to go for a scan.

There had been conflicting reports as to when Bale sustained the injury and Speed's assistant manager, Raymond Verheijen, mentioning 'incompetent amateurs' on Twitter was interpreted as referring to Tottenham.

But Verheijen has since clarified his statements and Speed is adamant that there has been no fallout with Spurs, who played Bale for the entire 90 minutes of last weekend's draw with West Ham in what was only his third match since returning from a back injury.

Speed, who has named Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey as Wales captain, said at a press conference broadcast live on Sky Sports News on Thursday when asked if Dutchman Verheijen's tweets had been helpful: "Not at the present time, no.

"I think there was a bit of confusion there, because I think what was reported was that Gareth had pulled his hamstring in training yesterday.

"But obviously that reporting wasn't correct because he didn't train yesterday. We do take a lot of time and effort into making sure our players are right.

"So when something is reported like that, it is not right."

Asked whether Verheijen's 'incompetent amateurs' comment referred to Tottenham, Speed said: "In no way did it refer to Tottenham, that's a given.

"I can understand how it might be portrayed that it was. But I think the fact that it was reported that Gareth had done his hamstring in training yesterday when he didn't train yesterday, that is the incompetent bit."

Speed's priority at the Millennium Stadium will be to collect three points after the former Sheffield United manager inherited a side who have lost their opening three matches in European qualifying.

But he has admitted the confusion surrounding Bale has been 'disappointing' after previously dedicating time to send his head of performance to visit Tottenham and other clubs in order to build a positive working relationship.

Speed, though, does not think that there has been any lasting damage, as he said when asked to clarify his disappointment: "It is because we have taken so much time in building those relationships, this unfortunate thing is a total misunderstanding.

"So it is nothing we have done to break that relationship, it is nothing that Spurs have done. It has just been a misunderstanding."

Speed added with regards to Bale's injury: "You don't put any blame on Spurs at all, because he played 90 minutes on Saturday and he got through 90 minutes.

"He has come to us and we have assessed him. Maybe, if we hadn't been so thorough in our looking after him, perhaps he would be training and he would have played.

"But what we don't want is him to play and break down. The players' welfare is of paramount importance and that is what has happened."



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