Mar 25, 2011

Speed smooths over Bale row with Redknapp

share on facebook

Wales manager Gary Speed has moved to avoid a potential club-versus-country row by describing a dispute with Harry Redknapp over the fitness of Gareth Bale as a "misunderstanding".

Bale has been ruled out of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against England with a hamstring injury, and Speed said on Thursday that the winger had picked up the problem at Spurs prior to his arrival with the national team.

However, Redknapp was adamant the winger was feeling fine after completing 90 minutes for Tottenham in their goalless draw against West Ham at the weekend.

"I wouldn't have let him go if he had an injury," Redknapp told the Daily Mail. "Gareth played for 90 minutes against West Ham on Saturday and they tell me the figures from that game show he covered more ground than he's ever done before.

"There was no sign of a hamstring injury. He's not come in after the game and said his hamstrings were tight. When he left here on Saturday, off he went and he certainly wasn't injured.

"He hasn't had a hamstring injury. He had a back, then he had a tight thigh and we've been very careful with him. Now he's got a hamstring. He must've done it with Wales. I'm not blaming anyone. It's no one's fault."

However, Speed explained in his press conference on Friday: "I haven't spoken to Harry. We swapped telephone messages and everything is fine. It was a misunderstanding so that has been nipped in the bud and that is fine."

It is the second time that Wales have been forced to clarify their position to avoid angering Tottenham, with Speed's assistant Raymond Verheijen having to state that a reference to "incompetent amateurs" on his Twitter account was directed at journalists who reported Bale trained on Wednesday, rather than the Premier League club.

Meanwhile, with Tottenham's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid less than a fortnight away, Redknapp is hopeful Bale will be ready after a week's rest, although he admits there is a risk of further aggravating the injury.

"The first I heard of it was at 10 o'clock on Wednesday night when our physio called me," Redknapp said. "I feared the worst but he's seen our physio and it's only tightness. There's no tear but if he plays and it pings, he's had it."



Post a Comment