CHARLIE Adam believes stopping Gareth Bale will go a long way to helping Scotland beat Wales in their crunch 2014 World Cup qualifier on Friday night – but does not expect to tangle with his old foe again.
The Tottenham star called Adam a "coward’’ after being injured for a second time in July by the Stoke midfielder, then playing for Liverpool, during a friendly against Spurs in Baltimore.
Bale was out for three months with ankle ligament damage after a challenge by the Scotland playmaker, then with Blackpool, in 2011.
Adam described the White Hart Lane wide-man as "probably one of the best players in the world on his day’’ as he ran through a list of Welshmen who he believes can give Craig Levein's men problems at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Scotland midfielder said: "Bale is good, quick but I don't think they are a one-man team. They have a number of players, like we have, who can win the game on their day.
"Aaron Ramsay is a top player, there is Ashley Williams, and Joe Allen at Liverpool. I wouldn't just single out Gareth Bale.
"But he is a top player and if we can stop him it will probably enhance our performance and probably our chances of winning the game.’’ However, the former Rangers player quickly rejected the suggestion that he might be the best man to nullify the threat of the jet-heeled Welshman: "Nope - because he will not be playing on my side,’’ he said. "Whoever plays at right-back or left back will deal with him.
"What has happened in the past has happened in the past, the most important thing is playing for Scotland and getting a result.’’ Wales go into the game on the back of a demoralising 6-1 thrashing in Serbia which followed a 2-0 home defeat to Belgium in their Group A opener.
Under-fire manager Chris Coleman, who has lost all four games since taking over from the late Gary Speed, subsequently took the captaincy away from 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder Ramsey and gave it to Swansea defender Ashley Williams.
However, Adam refused to concede that the Welsh camp were in apparent turmoil as they approach their make or break double-header against Scotland and Croatia.
"Are they in turmoil really? I don't think they are. They have good players.
"Results are difficult at this level. The games they have had have been tough games.
"They were beaten by Belgium and away in Serbia which is a tough place to go.
"It was surprise that they took the captaincy off him (Ramsay) but the manager saw fit to change and you have to respect that decision.
"Whatever happens in the Wales camp happens there.
"For us, it's about concentrating on ourselves and looking forward to the next game.
"We go there with confidence, we have got good players in our team and hopefully we can perform and try to get three points.’’ Adam believes there is better to come from Scotland following draws against Serbia and Macedonia at Hampden last month which have left the Scots' qualifying hopes in the balance after only two games.
The Dundonian is confident that the return to the squad of striker Steven Fletcher and midfielders Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown can make the difference, first against the Welsh and then away to Belgium next Tuesday night.
"I think there is a lot of improvement in us,’’ he said.
"Even though we didn't play too badly in the last two games, obviously the results didn't go for us.
"There was a lot of frustration and disappointment because we created chances.
"Sometimes you don't get the rub of the green but if we could get that in the next two games, you never know where that could take us.
"The quality that has come in could probably raise that (improvement).
"They are big players and it's good to have them back.
"Obviously the lads have been out for the last while so it will be good for competition for places.
"Darren has obviously played at Manchester United since he was a young player and played a number of games at the highest level for club and country.
"His experience will tell and Steven Fletcher has scored a lot of goals no matter what club he has gone to, and to add that to what we already have is very good for us.
"But it is going to be difficult. You saw that against the two countries we played last month, Serbia and Macedonia.
"If we can go to Wales and get a victory that it will give us five points and we will see what happens on Tuesday night against Belgium.
"But first and foremost, we need to win against Wales.’’