Wales captain Gareth Bale dismissed Italy coach Roberto Mancini’s comments likening the team to English club Stoke City and said they were ready to challenge them in today’s Euro 2020 meeting in Rome.
Mancini, who spent three and a half years as Manchester City manager between 2009 and 2013, is fully aware of the physical demands of a trip to Stoke who were a top-flight team then.
Ahead of today’s game, the Italian said Stoke had a very tough style of play and he expected a similar test from Wales, adding Bale’s side also possessed the technical skills to trouble his team.
Asked for his reaction to Mancini’s comments, Bale told a news conference: “I never knew Stoke were that good.”
Wales interim manager Robert Page said that he was not bothered by the comparison. “We’re fully focused on what we can do and how we can hurt teams.
As I’ve said, I couldn’t be more proud of that (squad of) 26 and I’ll back them every day of the week.”
Italy are through to the last 16 after two wins from as many games, while Wales are also unbeaten in Group A with four points ahead of the final round of matches. “It’s going to be a big challenge.—AP