• International football

Scotland will not man-mark Bale

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
Gareth Bale scored twice for Wales against Scotland last October © PA Photos

Scotland have a plan to contain Wales' Gareth Bale but they will not resort to man-marking him during Friday's World Cup qualifier, according to assistant coach Mark McGhee.

Bale, 23, has been in electric form for Tottenham this season, while he also hit two goals when Wales defeated Scotland last October.

However, despite the obvious threat he poses, McGhee says his side will not spend all their time focusing on the opposition.

"We will have a plan to deal with him but we are the home team and will exert our own pressure," McGhee said. "I don't think we will be man-marking him."

McGhee added: "I think he's having the same influence for Tottenham as (Cristano) Ronaldo or (Lionel) Messi have for Real Madrid or Barcelona. When we do win the ball back off Wales we need to be positive with it."

Bale picked up an ankle knock during Spurs' defeat to Fulham on Sunday but is expected to be fit for the crunch clash at Hampden Park.

And McGhee feels that if a player of Bale's quality is on the pitch on Friday then it would simply be a waste of time trying to man-mark him.

"I've never played in a team that did a man-marking job or managed a team that [did it]. It's a rare thing that you man-mark somebody. And a player as good as Gareth Bale will overcome that," he said. "I don't think you can man-mark him. As a team, you have to deal with him."

Meanwhile, Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker has received a late call-up to the Scotland squad following the withdrawals of James Forrest, Ross McCormack and Danny Fox.

"We feel Steven's one who will be here for future matches too," McGhee said.

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