Welsh captain Gareth Bale said his drought of goals for his country “didn’t matter” and insisted he always contributes to the team in other ways.
Robert Page is leading Wales to just their third major international tournament – aiming to emulate Chris Coleman’s success – with their first game of the competition against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday.
Bale, 31, last scored for his country against Croatia in October 2019, but he has scored four goals in his previous seven appearances and says he is “not worried” about not appearing on the scoresheet for the last matches.
“It doesn’t matter. I did assists. I always contribute. I’m not worried,” Bale said at the pre-match press conference on Friday.
“If the opportunities present themselves to score, I hope I can seize them,” he added.
Page, who will take charge of the squad during the tournament as Ryan Giggs goes on trial in England next year, has backed the all-time Wales scorer to deliver his country again.
“It’s not the end of the world. If he doesn’t score, he scores goals,” Page said.
“If he doesn’t score, it’s important that he scores goals, and he does.”
Bale is one of eight survivors of the Wales squad which made it to a Euro semi-final five years ago, where they were knocked out by future winners Portugal, and says that there “should be expectations” around the team this summer. tournament.
“It’s similar (to Euro 2016) coming into the tournament,” said the Real Madrid forward, who spent last season on loan at Tottenham.
“At the back of 2016 there should be expectations, but it’s a different team and a different tournament.”
Wales’ other two Group A rivals, Italy and Turkey, met in Rome on Friday night with the Italians winning 3-0.
Unlike home country England and Scotland, Wales will not host any matches at Euro 2020, with their second group stage game against Turkey also in Baku on Wednesday before surrendering in Rome to face Italy on Sunday.
“We know it’s a tough group to come out,” Bale said, with the top two in each group and the top four thirds qualifying for the final 16.
“They are all tough teams to play against, but we have to take one game at a time.
“We are very happy to be here and to be away one day. I feel good and ready to give 100% for my country, as I always do.”
Wales left Aaron Ramsey to rest for the two warm-ups ahead of the tournament against France and Albania and the Juventus midfielder missed Thursday’s training session.
However, Page says there are no concerns for Ramsey, 30, who also missed the Italian club’s last five games of the Serie A campaign with fitness issues.
“There’s no problem with Aaron. He didn’t practice yesterday. It’s always been part of the plan,” Page said.
“We worked backwards from Switzerland. Aaron has always been part of the process.
“He said yesterday that he was in a good position. This is great news for us,” he added.
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