BORDEAUX: Wales manager Chris Coleman said his side would approach next week’s crunch clash with England without fear after beating Slovakia 2-1 in their Euro 2016 opener.
After Gareth Bale’s stunning 10th-minute free kick was cancelled out by Slovakia’s Ondrej Duda at Stadium Bordeaux on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Wales substitute Hal Robson-Kanu netted an 81st-minute winner to put his side in a commanding position in Group B.
If Wales beat England, who drew 1-1 with Russia in their opening match, they will be assured of a place in the last 16 and Coleman vowed that they will not feel any sense of inferiority against Roy Hodgson’s men.
“When we’re at our best and give our very, very best, then we don’t need to be concerned who the opposition is,” Coleman told reporters after his country’s first major tournament match since the 1958 World Cup.
“We just concern ourselves with ourselves because we know that we can give anyone a game.
“I’m not going to toy about with the formation, I’m not going to play mind games. Roy’s too experienced to fall for any of that nonsense, and I don’t believe in it.
“We’ll do what we’ve been doing. We can stick to what we believe in. We know it’s going to be a huge challenge and a big test, but it’s one that we’ll be ready for.”
He added: “We’re going against England, who are a top 10 team. They’ve had tournament football for a lot longer than we have. They’re used to high-pressure games.
“They’ve been there before. We haven’t. But that could also work to our advantage.
“We just need to concentrate on Wales. We don’t fear anybody. We’re concentrating on ourselves, because we know if we get our game right, it’s enough to get what we need to progress in the tournament.”
Coleman handed a surprise first start to Liverpool’s reserve goalkeeper Danny Ward after usual number one Wayne Hennessey suffered a back spasm on the eve of the game.