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Brown urges Scotland to foul Bale

Former Rangers defender John Brown has hinted Scotland should foul Wales winger Gareth Bale in Friday’s World Cup qualifier.

The Tottenham attacker was the difference in the previous fixture between the teams in Cardiff, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory, and looks as if he will recover from an ankle knock to make the return fixture.

And Brown, who earned the nickname ‘Bomber’ due to his hard-man style as a player, said foul play may be the only way to deal with the 23-year-old.

“With the pace that he’s got and the close control … he can’t run without legs,” the Dundee manager told BBC Radio Scotland.

“I’m sure it’ll be passed around the squad. Get close to him and don’t give him time and space.”

The comments sparked outrage from Wales fans, who demanded he clarify what he meant, but, when asked if he was implying the Scottish players should try and ‘hurt’ Bale, Brown replied: “It might have been.

“One player in the Wales team won the game that night (in Cardiff) – cancel him out and the Welsh team are average.

“I watched the game down there and the difference was Gareth Bale, when you give him time and space to run with the ball and strike it with his strong foot from 30 yards.

“Scott Brown was taken off, Charlie Adam came on and he never did a job on him. Your midfield, you get them tight, make sure your defence is compact and you make sure you’re losing all the space for him.

“Gordon Strachan will know what he’s doing. If he can nullify Bale I think the Welsh team are average.”

Thu 21 March, 2013
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