Wales can cope with Ramsey's absence says Gareth Bale

Credit: PA

Gareth Bale insists Wales can overcome the loss of Aaron Ramsey from their opening Euro 2020 qualifier and aim for top spot in Group E.

Ramsey was ruled out on the eve of the Cardiff clash against Slovakia on Sunday with a thigh injury that the Arsenal midfielder has been nursing all week.

But Bournemouth forward David Brooks has shrugged off an ankle injury, and Bale has declared himself fully fit after completing his first 90 minutes of 2019 for Real Madrid last weekend.

"Obviously it's a big blow for us," Bale said of Ramsey's absence. "He's a big player for us and we'll obviously miss him.

"But it gives someone else a chance to step in and do a good job, and hopefully help the team to a win.

"I am fully fit and ready to go. I am enjoying being here and I am excited for the new campaign."

Bale has had a difficult time in Madrid this season with fans turning on him as Real crashed out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, while trailing badly behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona.

But Bale has still scored 16 goals for club and country and dismissed the notion that he has had several injuries this season.

"I have only had one injury," he said. "I have been fine and playing.

Bale scored last time out against Celta Vigo for Real Madrid. Credit: PA

"I've scored a decent amount of goals and I am raring to go.

"I want to keep doing as much as I can to help the (Wales) team and so does every player.

"So I certainly don't feel the pressure to produce. I just want to go out there, give my best for my country, score goals, create goals, defend, whatever I can to help the team."

Wales reached the semi-finals of the last European Championships in 2016 under Chris Coleman.

But Ryan Giggs' side are already playing catch-up in their group after sitting out the first round of matches on Thursday.

Slovakia beat Hungary 2-0 at home and top seeds Croatia also got off to a winning start, beating Azerbaijan 2-1.