Euro 2016: Wales ‘will focus on themselves, not England’ insists Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey

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Aaron Ramsey insists Wales will focus on themselves and not be too concerned about England when they meet in Euro 2016’s Battle of Britain.

Wales claimed top spot in Group B with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday evening as they marked the end of their 58-year absence from a major finals in style.

A few hours later, England conceded an injury-time equaliser to draw 1-1 against Russia and leave Roy Hodgson’s side playing catch-up ahead of Thursday’s date with Wales in Lens.

“We wanted to start off well in this competition and we’ve managed to do that,” said Ramsey.

“We work hard for each other, we have quality going forward and we are ready to take on anybody.

“They have a lot of good players, who are quite dangerous individually.

“They had a faultless (qualifying) campaign. But we will focus on ourselves and what we need to do to try and get something out of the game.”

Ramsey could come up against Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Wilshere came on for the final 12 minutes of England’s draw with Russia, replacing skipper Wayne Rooney, and the Welshman says he might be in contact with his Gunners’ team-mate before the game.

“There might be a couple of texts, but we are simply focussed on trying to win the game now,” said Ramsey.

“We’ll approach that goal (England) like we did this one, we will work on that in training this week.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, to experience what we experienced against Slovakia was fantastic.

“It was quite emotional when the anthems were being sung.

“We had to pinch ourselves to stop the tears coming down, it was really spine-tingling.”

Wales became the first British team to win their opening game at a European Championship without their first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

The 29-year-old suffered a back spasm and had to drop out, with Liverpool’s Danny Ward making his first international start.

“I had one (spasm) and missed the Liverpool game at home for Crystal Palace,” said Hennessey.

“I had exactly a similar one. So I’ll have an injection now and I will probably be back in 24 hours which sounds crazy.

“It is one of those things that you go from broke to mended in about 24 hours.

“It was an unsettling time for myself, but our motto is ‘Together Stronger’ and it is all about the boys.

“I thought Danny did really well, it was a big situation for him to come in but I thought he was tremendous.”

Jonathan Williams said how pre-match messages from family and friends had inspired Wales to victory.

“It really hit home, it was quite emotional. That does help,” said Williams.

“The boys who have kids and families, seeing how proud your mum and dad are of you. It was a good idea.

“It was lots of different videos in the hotel before we left for the stadium.

“My dad popped up, a bit of a laugh, it wasn’t too embarrassing!”

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