Salisbury JournalHartson hopeful on injured pair (From Salisbury Journal)

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Hartson hopeful on injured pair

Salisbury Journal: Gareth Bale is a worry for Wales' clash with Scotland Gareth Bale is a worry for Wales' clash with Scotland

Wales coach John Hartson is confident Gareth Bale and Adam Matthews will both be fit for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

Hartson confirmed Tottenham wide man Bale and Celtic defender Matthews - neither of whom had taken part in the Dragons' training session on Tuesday - were nursing heel and ankle problems respectively, but stressed the pair are expected to be available for the Group A clash with the Scots at Cardiff City Stadium.

"Gareth Bale came down to the training ground today and worked with the physio," Hartson said. "We feel he will be okay for Friday. It was just a case of getting him ready."

He added: "Adam Matthews did the same as Gareth, but we feel they will both be fine."

Hartson also revealed Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, a third player not to feature in Tuesday's session, had taken part in full training on Wednesday.

Wales' recent losing streak has seen the pressure mount on manager Chris Coleman, who has opted to switch his captain from Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey to Swansea skipper Ashley Williams.

While Hartson feels Ramsey will captain Wales again one day, he has endorsed the move and referring to Coleman, he said: "To take this job on, which was a very difficult job with everyone having felt so close with Gary (Speed), he was very brave, and it is going to take time.

"I have a lot of admiration for Chris Coleman and I just hope we can get it right."

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford has been quoted as saying the body are "100%" behind Coleman, but that earning points in the next two games is "a bit of a must".

Ford, quoted by BBC Sport, said: "Absolutely 100% we back him. We sat down with Chris after the shock defeat away in Serbia. Chris has made some fundamental changes and we support him and wish our team all of the best success for the match coming up this Friday."

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