ENGLAND IN DIER NEED OF WIN OVER WALES
England midfielder expects a tough test against Wales
Eric Dier believes Wales will be desperate to get one over on “the enemy” and harm England’s Euro 2016 hopes when the two sides meet on Thursday in Lens.
Chris Coleman’s men top Group B after marking their first European Championship match with an impressive 2-1 win against Slovakia.
While Wales started their campaign in style, England failed to turn their dominance of Russia into goals and were made to pay the price when Vasili Berezutski salvaged a late draw.
That result increased the pressure on England as did the comments of Wales star Gareth Bale who said that “the enemy” were lacking passion and pride.
And Dier, who scored the opener against Russia, expects a fiercely contested game against the Welsh. “Obviously there’s a lot to it,” he said. “I think as well it might be a bit less of an international game and a bit more of an English game, especially with the players. “It might be a bit different to all the others games you’ve seen in the tournament, so I think that’s good for the spectators that well. “Obviously it’s a massive game for them and for us, for many different reasons. Everyone is going to look forward to it. “I think the underdogs are always up for it, always wanting to prove a point and that makes it even harder for the favourites. “If we are the favourite, we need to be even more well-prepared and more ready for it because they’ll be desperate to do their best obviously after the result they had as well.”
Despite the disappointment of the draw with Russia, Dier stressed that the England players have taken plenty of positives from the display in Marseille.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to get negative about it,” added the defensive midfielder. “Obviously we’re disappointed that we conceded a late goal, but apart from that I thought it was definitely the best England performance I’ve played in.
“I’ve not played in many but I thought it was fantastic. That’s the feeling I got from the response from the fans when the game was going on.
“I think there are so many positives to take. I don’t think we should be putting ourselves down and we are going to look forward to the next game.”
England play Wales on Thursday with kick off at 5pm UAE time.