Assist for Bale: Helping Convince Ben Woodburn to Represent Wales Over England

Thursday, 07 Sep, 2017

Teenage striker Ben Woodburn must be handled carefully despite his eye-catching worldwide debut, Wales and Liverpool great Ian Rush has warned.

The 17-year-old Liverpool winger announced his arrival on the worldwide stage with a well-taken goal four minutes into his Wales debut during their 2-1 win over Austria in a World Cup qualifier clash on Saturday (2 September).

Woodburn was born in Nottingham, grew up in...

Bale said he sat next to Woodburn when Wales faced the Netherlands in a friendly in Cardiff in November 2015, adding: "I had a little chat with him".

"Kit and I were out there three weeks ago", said the national manager.

The Real Madrid forward said: "We knew he was a great player and we're delighted to have him".

The visitors stepped up their assault in the second half, with Wales manager Chris Coleman sending on 17-year-old Ben Woodburn, who scored the only goal of the game in his global debut against Austria on Saturday, on the hour mark.

But he could have opted for England until he made a senior competitive global appearance.

"You don't want to put too much pressure on him", Rush told 5 live.

"We are all proud of him".

"The main aim is to get Wales to the World Cup finals and he will be in that set-up if he can do that, so [he needs to] keep his head down and keep on working hard".

"Mentally I think we all still feel 17 - me, Joe (Allen), Wayne (Hennessey), Rambo (Aaron Ramsey), all of us".

Moldova boss Igor Dobrovolskiy, meanwhile, makes four changes from the 3-0 defeat in Serbia, with Vitalie Bordian, Artiom Rozgoniuc, Dinu Graur and Alexandru Pascenco coming in. "It's been good fun".

The top two meet in Dublin on Tuesday night while Wales take on Moldova, who have lost five of their seven qualifiers and are yet to register a win.

"We had an ice bath. quiet night. We will be okay if we do what we did in the second half tonight".

He said: "The big thing is we've picked up six points from this camp and we're the team with momentum going into next month's games, we can't wait for them to come around".

If they began with the fervour and passion of a team determined to hit the ground running then they were soon pegged back by Austria's ability to control possession and dictate the game.