Euro 2016: England should be ‘ashamed’ if war of words with Wales has impact says Roy Hodgson

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England manager Roy Hodgson has insisted his players should not be affected by exchanges in the media with their counterparts from Wales.

The likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have enjoyed the pre-game talk, with differences of opinion of which is the more passionate and proud nation drawing a reaction from the England camp.

Ahead of their Group B clash in Lens on Thursday, the Welsh will be hoping to take a big step towards advancing to the knockout stage of Euro 2016, while England will be desperate to bounce back from their disappointing draw with Russia on Saturday.

Hodgson is adamant that the war of words won’t affect his players, and refrained from getting drawn into it by the media in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m surprised people focusing so much on talking, and if we were really taking seriously what people are saying or reported to be saying or allowed it any way to affect concentration, we would be ashamed of ourselves.

“I’m surprised the questions are coming our way because talk is talk and action on the field is action on the field.”

Hodgson was then asked about how many Wales players would get into the England side, with Bale cheekily stating earlier this week that he didn’t think any of the English players would start for Chris Coleman’s men.

The England boss was clearly unimpressed with the question, and left it to the media to discuss rather than get involved.

“I think that’s a question journalists like yourself and maybe many a fan will be asking, but as a coach I’ve never once considered which other players would get in our team, it’s a matter of total disinterest to me.

“I’ll leave you to come up with the answer and you can have a quiz between yourselves, we are here today doing our job for UEFA talking about the game. I’ll leave that question with you.”

While the Welsh camp seem to be having fun with the whole situation, it does appear as though their rivals are a little more tense about it all.

Nevertheless, it will matter little on Thursday afternoon when the game kicks off, as both sides will undoubtedly put it all on the line to secure all three points.

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