Roy Hodgson does not doubt England’s desire as he responded to Gareth Bale’s claims that Wales and their passion cannot be matched.
As England and Wales prepare to lock horns in their blockbuster Group B clash in Lens on Thursday, Bale stoked the fire when he said Hodgson’s men “big themselves up before they’ve done anything”.
Hodgson was asked about with the Real Madrid star, whose Wales defeated Slovakia 2-1 in their opener, but the 68-year-old said England’s patriotism and passion cannot be questioned.
“Receiving disrespectful comments is part and parcel of being a footballer and a football coach,” said Hodgson, after England opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Russia.
“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.
“They can have those opinions but I don’t have any doubts personally about our patriotism or desire and that’s the important thing.
“If he believes that that’s the case, he’s welcome to that opinion.
“But we know who we are, we know what we are. We don’t have any doubts about ourselves in that respect.”