England boss Roy Hodgson has asked Wales winger Gareth Bale to prove himself on the field rather than talking ahead of both sides’ clash in the Euros on Thursday.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have led stinging attacks on Hodgson’s squad, saying they lack passion and claiming not a single England player would make it into the Wales team.
But Hodgson came out fighting, claiming the pressure is on Wales to back up their outbursts.
“Talk is talk; action on the field is action on the field,” said the England boss.
“It surprises me that people are focusing on the talking.
“If we really took it seriously, thinking about what people in the other team are saying, and allowed it to affect our concentration, we’d be ashamed of ourselves.
“We’re perfectly satisfied with the passion we bring to our games. We don’t doubt our passion, desire or commitment, or our wish to do well in the tournament. If others think they are better at it, it’s fine by me. But it’s not worthy of comment.”
Coleman refused to downplay his players’ seemingly deliberate public taunting of England, claiming he doesn’t care if his squad have upset their rivals.
Despite hearing Hodgson’s remarks, he defended his players.
“If that’s their opinion, that’s up to them,” said Coleman, whose side won their opening game and would qualify for the last 16 with victory on Thursday.
“We can’t worry about upsetting the opposition, whoever they are. It was always going to turn into this but it’s about what happens on the pitch.
“All that other stuff is irrelevant. We don’t go into mind games. Let’s just get down to business.”