O’Neill blasts Bale, Taylor for horror tackles
REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has slammed Wales pair Neil Taylor and Gareth Bale for the challenges which left Seamus Coleman with a double leg-break and John O’Shea needing stitches.
Ireland captain Coleman is still recovering in hospital in Dublin after having his fibula and tibia broken by Taylor’s tackle in Friday’s 0-0 draw.
The Everton defender is expected to be out until 2018 and had pins put in his right leg during an operation on Saturday morning, which O’Neill says was a success.
Taylor was sent off for his challenge and will miss Wales’s next qualifier away to Serbia, as will Bale, despite escaping with a booking after landing his studs on the ankle of O’Shea.
O’Neill is far from happy with the perpetrators.
“I’ve seen the challenge on Seamus,” he said. “I’ve seen the challenge on John. They are very poor.”
Giving an update on Coleman’s condition, O’Neill added: “He was taken to hospital on Friday night. He was very groggy. Naturally, he’s very disappointed. It will take some time to heal.
“It’s a double break but it has been pinned up and screwed in place. The doctors are very pleased with the way the operation has gone. Now, it’s time for recuperation.
“Seamus has great deter- mination and sometimes things work very well in your favour in terms of recovery. “It’s a big blow for the lad.” Meanwhile, Wales manager Chris Coleman insists his side can produce a Plan B for their crunch qualifier in Serbia but admitted the loss of Bale will be felt.
Coleman will evaluate whether a change of system is required. Wales have only won once in seven years without Bale starting – 1-0 against Macedonia in 2013 – and he has been involved in six of their eight goals during qualifying, scoring four.
Wales may switch from Coleman’s trusted 3-4-2-1 formation to a flat back four.
“That’ll be our sixth game in this campaign and we’ve had Aaron Ramsey for two of them,” he said, “and Joe Allen has missed a couple. At our best we know we can play against anybody and win.” – Daily Mail