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England not short of passion in clash of brothers - Hodgson

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - England Training - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France - 15/6/16 - Coach Roy Hodgson during England's training session. REUTERS/Carl Recine/Files
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - England Training - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France - 15/6/16 - Coach Roy Hodgson during England's training session. REUTERS/Carl Recine/Files

LENS, France (Reuters) - Manager Roy Hodgson has responded defiantly to Gareth Bale's comments ahead of the neighbours' Euro 2016 meeting in Lens on Thursday that England do not have the same passion as Wales.

Bale said he wasn't playing mind games when he suggested that Wales have more national pride than England before the Group B showdown, but Hodgson is satisfied with his side's attitude ahead of the battle of "brothers".

"I don't like to comment on things that other people say," the England coach told reporters. "I'm satisfied with the passion we bring to our games and certainly don't have any doubts about our passion, our desire, our commitment.

"If others have an opinion and think they can do better, that's fine," he added. "If we really took seriously what people are saying in the other team -- or reported to be saying -- and allowed it to affect our concentration, we'd be ashamed of ourselves.

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

Bale scored the opening goal as Wales saw off Slovakia 2-1 in their first match and will be looking to heap more pressure on an England side that took the lead in their opener but let two points slip when Russia scored a 92nd-minute equaliser.

"Many people in England and Great Britain have been looking forward to this, we certainly are," Hodgson said. "It's a game between brothers if you like, it adds spice to it, adds interest.

"I only welcome that, it heightens the atmosphere rather than lessens it, but whoever wins will have to do so over the 90 minutes and by scoring more than the opposition."

(Reporting by Ed Dove; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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