England manager Roy Hodgson has criticised comments made by Wales froward Gareth Bale ahead of the sides’ crucial Group B clash on Thursday.
Hodgson’s retort came following the Real Madrid star’s claim that England always ‘big themselves up before they’ve done anything’, while the Welsh outfit boasts ‘a lot more passion and pride’ than their English counterparts.
‘Receiving disrespectful comments is part and parcel of being a footballer and a football coach,’ Hodgson told reporters, reports Football365.
‘I don’t ever comment on other people. I’ve been in the game sufficiently long to know every opponent has got an opinion, the other day it was [Russia goalkeeper Igor] Akinfeev saying we were the worst seeded team and now it’s Gareth Bale,’ he added.
Hodgson has insisted he has no lingering doubts about his young Three Lions side.
‘They can have those opinions but I don’t have any doubts personally about our patriotism or desire and that’s the important thing, he said. ‘If he [Bale] believes that that’s the case, he’s welcome to that opinion.’
The clash between Wales and England could prove significant given the circumstances of the group, as Wales have already tallied three points following their 2-1 win over Slovakia, while England have just a point to their name following a frustrating draw against Russia.
The England and Wales clash is set for Thursday 16 May and will be played at the Stade Felix-Bollaert.
Kick-off is at 15:00.
Image: Uefa Website