Cyprus Mail

Pressure is on England ahead of Wales game, says Coleman

Wales manager Chris Coleman is in a confident mood ahead of the eagerly-awaited clash with England

Wales coach Chris Coleman said the lion’s share of the pressure will be on England when the neighbours meet in a Euro 2016 Group B clash on Thursday.

“Whatever’s going on around England, there’s a lot expected of them because they’ve had great players down the years,” Coleman told journalists on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot more pressure and expectancy on the England boys than on us but the expectancy and the pressure come from within our group, we expect ourselves to compete against the best.”

England need a positive result after conceding a late equaliser in their opener against Russia, while Wales, who beat Slovakia 2-1 on Saturday, could qualify for the round of 16 with another win.

Wales forward Gareth Bale has suggested that his side have more national pride than their English counterparts, a line which was dismissed by England manager Roy Hodgson in his pre-match news conference.

Coleman also played down the comments, saying: “If one of ours has said something that one or two of the England boys don’t like, it’s irrelevant. When the whistle goes tomorrow, we’ll see who’s ready.”

Bale said he wasn’t playing mind games when he suggested that Wales have more national pride than England, but Hodgson is satisfied with his side’s attitude ahead of the battle of “brothers”.

“I don’t like to comment on things that other people say,” the England coach told reporters. “I’m satisfied with the passion we bring to our games and certainly don’t have any doubts about our passion, our desire, our commitment.

“If others have an opinion and think they can do better, that’s fine,” he added. “If we really took seriously what people are saying in the other team – or reported to be saying – and allowed it to affect our concentration, we’d be ashamed of ourselves.

“Talk is talk and action on the field is action on the field.

“Many people in England and Great Britain have been looking forward to this, we certainly are,” Hodgson said. “It’s a game between brothers if you like, it adds spice to it, adds interest.

“I only welcome that, it heightens the atmosphere rather than lessens it, but whoever wins will have to do so over the 90 minutes and by scoring more than the opposition.”

Rivalry between the two sides was always going to create an atmosphere, Coleman suggested. “England came out of the hat and we didn’t want that. We didn’t want the circus that comes with England.”

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