Wales boss Chris Coleman has laughed off criticism of his side’s star players as they prepare to face Republic of Ireland in tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Dublin.
Former Manchester United, Leeds and Ireland midfielder Johnny Giles had earlier this week questioned the pedigree of Real Madrid’s ex-Tottenham forward Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal.
“I must be one hell of a manager then,” said Coleman. “I’m happy with those comments because it makes me look good. That said, it happened last time we had a derby [against England at Euro 2016].
“Me and Martin [O’Neill] both know full well that when that whistle blows and when we lock horns, it doesn’t matter what’s said, who is a good player, who is not.
“We had two in the team of the tournament – one is Aaron Ramsey and the other Joe Allen. They have good players and these are two good teams. No matter what anyone says, the game is what matters.”
Ireland currently top Group D, having accrued 10 points from four matches, while Wales are third, four points adrift of O’Neill’s side after winning just one fixture so far.