MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 11:01:36

Vokes hails Wales squad strength as Bale fights for fitness

The Real Madrid star came off injured during the final 10 minutes of the LaLiga defeat to Alaves on Saturday.

Sam Vokes insists Wales' emerging talent means they are better placed than ever to cope without Gareth Bale.

Real Madrid star Bale is a fitness doubt for the glamour Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday and the Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland five days later.

Bale came off in the final 10 minutes of Real's 1-0 LaLiga loss at Alaves on Saturday with what is thought to be a recurrence of a groin injury.

Wales v Republic of Ireland – UEFA Nations League – League B – Group 4 – Cardiff City Stadium
Gareth Bale is a fitness doubt for Wales' Spain friendly and the Nations League tie with the Republic of Ireland (David Davies/PA)

The 29-year-old talisman has linked up with the Wales squad at their Vale of Glamorgan base, but he sat out training on Monday morning and will continue to be assessed by the Welsh medical staff.

"Gareth is massive for us, but we've got a lot of players playing at top level now," Vokes told Press Association Sport.

"They are playing regularly as well and that can only help us.

"If there are players missing there are others ready to step in.

"We've got talented players all over the field, we showed that against Ireland."

Bale, his country's top marksman, scored his 30th Wales goal in their 4-1 opening Nations League win against the Republic last month.

But the game was also notable for Wales' youngsters coming to the fore with Ethan Ampadu, Connor Roberts, Chris Mepham and David Brooks all impressing

Wales lost their second Nations League tie in Denmark three days after the Ireland victory.

But Vokes says the feel-good factor is back in Welsh football after the disappointment of missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

"These are exciting time for us," Vokes said of the new Ryan Giggs era.

"It's a strong squad now and the new generation of lads coming through is great to see.

"The Ireland game was one of the strongest performances we've put in for a long time.

"We've got two good games now and it's exciting to be back at the Principality Stadium playing Spain.

"We've had a great atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium and now we can take that momentum to the Principality Stadium."

Vokes still needs one more appearance to reach the 60-cap mark after missing out against the Republic and Denmark last month.

Cardiff City v Burnley – Premier League – Cardiff City Stadium
Sam Vokes has been in good scoring form in the Premier League with two goals in his last two Burnley appearances (Nick Potts/PA)

The 28-year-old is hoping that goals in his last two Premier League games for Burnley will push his case for a recall.

"It's important that I'm doing it at club level," Vokes said.

"It's important to get the minutes at Burnley and put performances in.

"I need to be doing that to help myself at national level."

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