Belfast Telegraph

Williams warns that Bale won't be fazed by rough and tumble

Ashley Williams has told Wales' World Cup rivals to forget about trying to kick Gareth Bale out of games.

Bale was singled out for some rough treatment on Monday night as Wales opened their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Moldova in Cardiff.

The Real Madrid forward's response was to score twice and move into second position on the all-time Wales scoring list with 24 goals, four short of Ian Rush's national record.

"Gareth is normally the difference and we are going to need him to come up with a bit of magic (to qualify)," skipper Williams said after the Euro 2016 semi-finalists ensured there would be no hangover from their exploits in France.

"We saw a lot of tackles in the last campaign, but it's international football and we've got enough caps to know that's coming.

"We've got a lot of quality players and big names in the team and that's going to happen. But we kept our heads against Moldova and we're more than capable of dealing with it."

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