Hodgson dismisses Bale trash talk

Getty Images
The Real Madrid forward has repeatedly aimed jibes at the Three Lions in recent weeks but the Three Lions manager insists he has been unaffected by his public statements

England boss Roy Hodgson insists Gareth Bale's trash talk ahead of Wales' clash with the Three Lions has not affected his side's preparation for the game in any way.

Bale has been particularly vocal in the build-up to the pivotal Group B encounter, claiming England do not possess the same passion as their Welsh counterparts, while also insisting that no Three Lions player would get into Chris Coleman's side.

Hodgson, though, insists that he and his players have paid little attention to Bale's statements, and says that he is merely focusing on preparing for the game.

He said: "I don’t really like to comment on what other people say, we are perfectly satisfied with the passion we bring to our games, we certainly don’t have any doubts about our passion, desire, our commitment, our wish to do well in the tournament.

"If other people have another opinion and think they are better at it then that’s fine by me. I don’t think it's worthy of comment if I'm brutally honest.

"I am surprised people are focusing so much on the talking. Both Wayne [Rooney] and I have been in football a long time and if we were really taking seriously, and thinking about what people were saying in the other team, and allowed that in any way to affect our concentration then we'd be very ashamed of ourselves.

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

As for Bale's claim about a combined team possessing no Englishmen, Hodgson added: "It’s a question the media and maybe many a fan would be asking but I've never, as a coach of a team, ever once considered how many of our players would get into their team and how many of their players would get into our team.

"It’s a matter of total disinterest to me because none of the Wales players are available to play for England."

England drew 1-1 with Russia in Marseille on Saturday, with Vasili Berezutski's injury time header denying them a deserved victory, and Hodgson admits that the result places greater pressure on his charges than Wales, who beat Slovakia 2-1.

"They are under less pressure. Normally when you win a game in a group where three teams go through that's pretty much enough. They have won one and we haven't so they are under less pressure than us," he added

The clash with Wales has been described by many as an international derby and Hodgson believes there will be an electric atmosphere in Lens.

He added: "If there is a derby atmosphere then great. Many people are looking forward to the game, here and perhaps around the world. It's a game between brothers, it adds spice, interest and I can only welcome that. It heightens the occasion.

"I think they'll play the way they've been playing for a long time under Chris Coleman. We are not anticipating any vast changes in their style or personnel. Unfortunately we won't be able to spring any surprises either as they know our players."