Bullish Bale backs Wales to make an impact at Euro 2016


Gareth Bale insists Wales are not going to Euro 2016 "just to make up the numbers" as they prepare for their first appearance in a major tournament since 1958.

Chris Coleman's squad open their Group B campaign against Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday.

England and Russia are the other two nations in the pool, yet Bale - a two-time winner of the Champions League with Real Madrid - believes Wales can more than match any opponent they face.

"All the teams that have qualified are very good teams, but we're not going there just to make up the numbers," he told UEFA.com 

"No matter who we play, we feel confident in our abilities. Our aim is to win every game, and if we do that, we win the tournament. 

"We're going to go there and give our best, that's all we can do."

Wales made it to France by claiming second place in Group B of qualifying, finishing two points behind Belgium and ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Cyprus and Andorra.

Since the end of the campaign, Coleman has been rewarded with a new contract that will keep him at the helm through to the 2018 World Cup.

Bale is full of praise for his national manager and believes it was pivotal he remained in charge beyond Euro 2016.

"He's really changed Welsh football; he's given us that identity," he added. 

"I think he's really got a plan in place for us to improve in the future. He wants us to not just qualify this time, but for World Cups and other European Championships. 

"So for me it's massively important that he continues with Wales."