| 10.6°C Dublin

Redknapp insists Bale was fit to play

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp insists his Welsh winger Gareth Bale was fit to play when he was released for international duty last weekend.

Bale has been ruled out of his country's Euro 2012 qualifier against England tomorrow with a hamstring problem which Wales manager Gary Speed claims was present when he arrived for training.

However, Redknapp has rejected that version of events and insists the 21-year-old was fit for action when he linked up with Wales.

He said: "I wouldn't have let him go if he had an injury.

"Gareth played for 90 minutes against West Ham on Saturday and they tell me the figures from that game show he covered more ground than he's ever done before.

"There was no sign of a hamstring injury. He's not come in after the game and said his hamstrings were tight.

"When he left here on Saturday, off he went and he certainly wasn't injured. Now he's got a hamstring (injury). He must've done it with Wales. I'm not blaming anyone. It's no one's fault."

Speed said: "Gareth reported from Spurs with stiffness. We left him out of training Sunday and Monday just to assess him and put him through the recovery process.

"He did the warm-up Tuesday morning and he still felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring, so we took him off. He didn't train Wednesday so we took him for a scan. The results came back that he has an injury there. I think you can tell on scans now, with the fluid and the blood that it was an injury from last week."

Meanwhile, England keeper Joe Hart has admitted Bale's absence from Saturday's qualifier with Wales is good news.

"The news about Bale is good for us," said Hart. "He is one of their best players.

"No one wants to see him getting hurt or injured of course and I am sure they will have someone ready to come in a fill his shoes. But they are pretty big shoes to fill."

England boss Fabio Capello is in the rare position of being able to pick from the 26-man squad he originally selected.

With Andy Carroll tipped to start alongside Wayne Rooney up front, other areas of debate surround a central midfield partner for Jack Wilshere, who is set to make his first competitive appearance, and who will slot in alongside John Terry at the back, with the choice likely to be between Michael Dawson and Phil Jagielka.

Hart does not know who will get the call. "It is not completely clear who's playing so it keeps you focused."