1. ITV Report

Tom Lawrence: 'Gareth Bale absence does not faze us'

Wales striker Tom Lawrence insists Wales will not be fazed by the loss of Bale in their remaining 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Wales talisman Gareth Bale is set to miss Wales' 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. Credit: PA

Bale will miss Wales' final two 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland following dialogue with his club Real Madrid and a scan on an injured calf, which revealed he is not fit to feature.

Wales need to win both games to have a realistic shot of reaching the play-offs

Wales fear the calf strain could sideline Bale for the next month, possibly even jeopardising his participation if they were to reach the November play-offs.

Credit: PA

Wales have not won once in the last 10 games that the 28-year-old talisman has missed, while they have not triumphed in a competitive game without him for nearly four years.

However, Derby striker Tom Lawrence - who is expected to feature against Georgia and the Republic - insists Wales will not be fazed by the loss of Bale after their battling 1-1 draw against Serbia in June.

He's a big loss, but that doesn't faze us.

We've been without him before and will deal with it again. It's obviously a massive loss because he's a great player who plays for Real Madrid. But we've got a strong squad and whoever comes in needs to step and do a job. We've got a good group and they will want to put a shift in.

– Tom Lawrence, Wales Forward
Tom Lawrence Credit: Simon Bellis/Sportimage/PA Images

Wales are not short of attacking options after calling up Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw to replace Bale.

Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn made a dramatic international bow last month when he scored the winner on his debut against Austria and then set up the opening goal in a 2-0 win in Moldova three days later.

Lawrence, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes and new boy David Brooks provide further forward options, while Aaron Ramsey - who will his 50th cap in Tbilisi - could be pushed into a more advanced role behind the main striker.