GARETH BALE believes he is coming to the boil nicely ahead of a World Cup meeting with England.
The 33-year-old’s plan is to take things gradually after playing so little club football in recent years — in the hope it will pay off in Qatar.
Bale said: “Every footballer wants to play as much as they can but we’re being clever and building myself up until for last important part of the season.
“We have a plan in LA and we’re not doing too much straight away.
“Hopefully, that should put me in great shape for the World Cup.
“We’re on a good path to where I want to be. Of course I want to play 90 minutes as much as I can.
“But I understand I need to build up to that because I haven’t done it an awful lot in the last few years.”
Wales play Gareth Southgate’s men on November 29 — the final game in Group B, which also involves the USA and Iran.
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Dragons skipper Bale has jetted back from LA for the Nations League games in Belgium tonight and at home to Poland on Sunday.
And when asked if he is feeling the benefit of being loved and appreciated again, he admitted: “Definitely. It feels nice.
“The fans have been really supportive over there, they’ve been really patient as well, which is good.
“I’m enjoying playing there, the atmosphere is incredible, they’re all supporting the team.
“I can’t ask for any more than that. They’ve made me feel at home straight away.
“The family are now settled in which is a big part.
“Now we’ve an important stretch of games in MLS but after that I can turn my attention to the World Cup and, hopefully, be in the best shape possible.
“Any player will tell you that you can be as fit as you want training and doing the running but playing games makes you feel sharper and better on the pitch.
“For me, playing games is where I need to be.”
His long-term international team-mates Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ben Davies are among those to withdraw from the squad.
But Bale is willing to play some part against Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils if needed.
He could be playing regularly right through to Qatar with LA certain to qualify for the MLS play-offs, which start next month and run until early November.
Dragons coach Rob Page said: “He arrived and he was bright — you wouldn’t have thought he’d just got off a flight from the States.
“He goes to the Nth degree with his preparation.
“I’m not surprised by his professionalism but I was surprised by how fresh he looked.”
Meanwhile, Kevin de Bruyne admits playing Wales is becoming “a little bit boring” for him — as he prepares to face them yet again on Thursday.
This will be the ninth meeting between Wales and Belgium in the last ten years.
Manchester City ace De Bruyne, who has played in all of those clashes, joked: “I think half of my internationals have been against Wales!
“I don’t know why but it’s a little bit boring. I think it’s like 12 times I’ve played them. It is always the same teams.”
The nations met in the Euro 2016 quarters in Lille when Wales won 3-1.
They have also faced each other in qualifying for three recent tournaments — and this year’s Nations League.
De Bruyne added: “We have played with the same team for years. We just try to finish the two games as best as possible.”