Belfast Telegraph

England v Wales: Gareth Bale bites back ahead of Britain showdown

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Gareth Bale resumed his goading of England at Wales' press conference yesterday, saying he was pleased that Roy Hodgson and Jack Wilshere had "bitten" on his comments last week when joking that no England players would get in the Wales team.

When Bale said last Thursday that Wales had more "pride and passion" than England did, the comments did not go down well with Hodgson, who labelled them as "disrespectful". Wilshere, speaking on Sunday night, said the England team did not particularly like Wales and were stronger than them too.

Bale returned to face the media yesterday, before Wales face England in Lens on Thursday, and while he denied taking part in "mind games", he said he was pleased with the effect his comments about England had had.

"It is good that they bit," said Bale with a smile. "I never said that they didn't have passion and pride, I just feel in my opinion that we have more. I'm sure they have their opinion that they have more also. I'm happy with my comments. I feel we've got a massive team spirit, one of the best I've seen. That is just my opinion. I just feel whether it's football or rugby or whatever sport it is, in Wales we seem to have that next level."

"If they feel they have the better squad, good for them. We know that we are a good team and we can beat them on our day."

Belfast Telegraph