Roy Hodgson fires back after Gareth Bale's comments about England
Roy Hodgson has said he has "no doubts" about England's passion after comments from Gareth Bale.
Real Madrid and Wales forward Bale claimed his country's fans would give them the edge in the group game against England, suggesting they have more passion than their counterparts from across the Severn Bridge.
But Hodgson told Sky Sports he was not bothered by the suggestion, and that he remains confident in his nation's abilities on and off the field.
Bale's comments came after the former Tottenham man scored Wales' first Euro 2016 goal.
"They can have those opinions but I don't have any doubts personally about our patriotism or desire and that's the important thing," the England coach said, claiming Bale was "welcome to his opinion".
"We know who we are, we know what we are. We don't have any doubts about ourselves in that respect," he added.
While refusing to comment specifically on other people, Hodgson said: "Receiving disrespectful comments is part and parcel of being a footballer and a football coach."
England take on Wales in Lens on Thursday knowing that victory would see them leapfrog Chris Coleman's team in Group B of the European Championships.
Hodgson's team dropped points thanks to a late Russian equaliser in their first game, while Wales' late victory over Slovakia leaves them top of the group after the first round of games.