Dier expecting an ‘English game’ vs Wales

Date published: Monday 13th June 2016 10:40

Dele Alli Eric Dier Wayne Rooney Football365

Eric Dier knows Wales will be desperate to get one over on England to damage their Euro 2016 hopes.

Chris Coleman’s men top Group B after marking their first European Championship match with a 2-1 victory against Slovakia.

Later on Saturday, amid a backdrop of fan violence, the Three Lions’ inability to turn dominance into goals allowed Russia to grab a last-gasp leveller, increasing the pressure heading into Thursday’s match.

England are overwhelming favourites to win in Lens despite the 1-1 draw, but defensive midfielder Dier knows Wales will raise their game against what Gareth Bale labelled “the enemy” in the build-up.

“Obviously there’s a lot to it,” Saturday’s goalscorer 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 fact a third-placed finish could be enough to progress from the group, Thursday remains vital for England after producing an impressive performance without the result it deserved.

Dier is focusing on the positive aspects of Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Marseille and is not allowing the disappointment of conceding a late leveller to fester.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to get negative about it,” he said. “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.”

Dier looks a shoo-in for the starting line-up after impressing in defensive midfield, shielding the backline impressively and scoring a thumping free-kick.

“I think they worked very hard defensively – they make it quite easy for me,” he said of Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney.

“It’s a team effort defensively and the role is very similar to the role I play for my club so there’s not much difference to it all, really.

“I enjoyed playing with them. Every single person worked as hard as they could, I think you saw that.

“It starts from Harry (Kane) and ends with Joe (Hart) and, you know, there’s no-one more important or less important.”

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