Gareth Bale's commitment to Wales leaves no excuses, says Ben Davies
Watch Wales' crucial European Qualifier in Azerbaijan on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football from 4.15pm; kick off 5pm
Last Updated: 13/11/19 12:06am
Gareth Bale's commitment to Wales leaves no excuses for the rest of the squad ahead of their decisive European Qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary, according to Tottenham left-back Ben Davies.
Despite not appearing for Real Madrid due to injury since last featuring for Wales in October, Bale is in contention to play in the two Euro 2020 qualifiers.
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The 30-year-old has 81 caps for his country and is Wales' most influential player of recent times, with team-mate Davies insisting his commitment to the national team sets an example to younger players.
Davies said: "I think it's the commitment he has to this team. It doesn't give anybody any excuses - if Gareth Bale's coming from Real Madrid and is willing to put his body on the line to play for this team, then everybody can do it.
"I think we've got that in the squad - that determination, that commitment to want Wales to succeed and I think if it starts at the top with him, then it filters down. We're all desperate to win these games and hopefully qualify."
On-loan Bournemouth winger Harry Wilson is one of those younger players who looks up to Bale as an inspiration and he hopes to share the pitch with the Real Madrid star on Saturday in Azerbaijan.
Wilson said: "We all know that he loves playing for Wales. He always turns up.
"I can only comment on the last couple of days in training, but he's in great spirit, he looks fit, he looks sharp and he looks like he's ready to play.
"He hasn't played a competitive game for a few weeks now but from what I've seen in training, it doesn't look to be affecting him.
"Hopefully he's fit and ready to go on Saturday because we're going to need him like we're going to need everyone."
Ramsey 'magic' will boost Wales
Aaron Ramsey has struggled with injuries throughout his career, including at the start of this season with his new club Juventus.
However, like Bale, Ramsey is also in contention to appear for Wales in their final two fixtures of 2019 and Davies believes the former Arsenal midfielder could provide the "magic" they need to qualify for a second consecutive European Championships.
Davies said: "It's always nice when you've got players of his quality coming back into the squad.
"I think it says a lot about the squad that we've got, that we've been able to cope without him this far.
"If he can come in and give us that bit of magic that we know he's got, then if that helps us over the line, we'd be delighted."
Wilson added: "It's a big boost to the squad. I think any team would be lucky to have him in the team. The quality he brings on the ball and then his work off the ball as well.
"To have him fit and hopefully ready to play, it's going to benefit the team and give us all a boost. When he plays, we know he can create stuff and help the team."
'I want another Euros experience'
Wales must win in Azerbaijan on Saturday and at home to Hungary three days later, with both games live on Sky Sports, to keep alive hopes of automatic qualification for next summer's Euro 2020 finals.
After their incredible run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, Davies wants to make the finals again and gain Wales recognition as a top international team.
Davies said: "I want to win things. Win things is a big statement in international football, but I want to succeed and I want to have that feeling like we had at the Euros where people respected us as a team.
"People saw that we were really competitive at this level and I think that we've got the quality to do that again and it starts by winning these next two games."
Wilson was supporting his side at the last Euros in France and dreams of playing on the intentional stage at a major tournament.
He added: "To me personally, it would mean everything. Being a fan out in France three years ago and seeing how special it was when we beat Slovakia in the first game.
"I knew from that point I wanted to be part of that as a player and now I've got my chance.
"We're going to make sure we give our all on Saturday and get a positive result out in Azerbaijan and hopefully it'll all come down to a great night in Cardiff on Tuesday in front of our home fans. With the atmosphere, we know anything's possible."