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Chris Gunter believes Wales can cope with physical Republic of Ireland

UK & international sports | Published:

Ryan Giggs’ side suffered a 4-1 friendly defeat to Spain on Thursday.

Wales v Republic of Ireland – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Group D – Cardiff City Stadium

Chris Gunter is confident that Wales can handle the Republic of Ireland’s combative style in their Nations League showdown.

Wales are likely to be without talisman Gareth Bale in Dublin on Tuesday as the Republic seek revenge for their 4-1 away defeat last month.

Ryan Giggs’ side were badly exposed by classy visitors Spain in Cardiff on Thursday, but Gunter said the hunger of the Wales squad to succeed should not be questioned after that 4-1 friendly loss.

“Over a long period, I don’t think a lack of fight or desire can be labelled at this squad,” said the 90-times capped Reading defender.

“We have enough credit not to be accused of that.

Wales v Spain – International Friendly – Principality Stadium
Gareth Bale is again expected to be on the sidelines for Wales’ Nations League trip to Dublin (Nick Potts/PA)

“We gave away goals early and then Spain kept the ball. It looked worse than it was.

“Ireland will be a little more physical, but we have stood up to them before and we can look back at those experiences knowing we can deal with them.”

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Wales overpowered Ireland in September when Bale was among the scorers in an exhilarating home performance.

And Gunter feels the short turnaround in fixtures will help Wales to get their Spanish inquisition out of the system.

“Sometimes in international football you don’t get a chance to put it right so quickly,” he said.

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“But we are in a good position as we have this chance now with another important game.

“In my experiences of last couple of years we have been without key players a few times and haven’t done too badly.”

David Brooks is set to be recalled after his impressive showing as a second-half substitute against Spain.

Wales v Republic of Ireland – UEFA Nations League – League B – Group 4 – Cardiff City Stadium
Wales forward David Brooks (right) is hoping to take on the Republic of Ireland again after impressing against them last month (David Davies/PA)

Bournemouth’s summer signing troubled Spain with his pace and set up Sam Vokes’ last-minute consolation goal with a delicious cross.

“You’ve got to feel confident in yourself to come on and make a difference,” Brooks said.

“I tried to go forward as much as I could and hopefully make an impact.”

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