'Poignant' for England, 'gut-wrenching' for Wales
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Such was England manager Roy Hodgson's emotion he nearly bumped his head celebrating his team's winner against Wales – a "gut-wrenching" moment for Chris Coleman and Gareth Bale.
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Roy Hodgson, England manager
I think everyone saw the emotions as we ran the risk of smashing our heads against the roof of the bench where we were sitting because we all jumped up spontaneously. It was a particularly poignant moment after what we suffered [against Russia] on Saturday night, when we thought we were really, really hard done by to concede that last-minute equaliser when we played so well.
The Welsh defended exceptionally well, worked hard, and restricted the clear-cut chances with the number of men they got behind the ball. I never really talk in detail about what I say at half-time out of respect to the players, but what I will say is that we were anxious to inject more pace and tempo into our game and wanted to get the players to take a few more risks in and around the penalty area.
The Welsh got incredible support, we got incredible support, and I think they saw an unbelievably exciting game. We're happy because we go home with the prize, but Wales should also be happy for having played their part in such a good occasion and such a good spectacle.
Daniel Sturridge, England striker
It's a great feeling, unbelievable. It's just a beautiful feeling to represent your country in the rivalry against another great country. It's a brilliant feeling.
It's crazy, it's only one more game in the group so no one wants to get too excited. I'm not getting too excited, but the atmosphere is unbelievable. There's not many games where you experience an atmosphere like this, so it's an amazing feeling.
- Match report and analysis from Stade Bollaert-Delelis
- All the build-up action and reaction as it happened
Chris Coleman, Wales manager
You can't tell me my players deserved that – their effort and courage was fantastic. We expected them to have a lot of possession, but to lose it like that was gut-wrenching for our players and our supporters.
We did everything we could to keep them at bay and even when they got the equaliser, I think Wayne [Hennessey] pulled off one save. They probed but we weren't stretched too badly. I can't say I've felt as disappointed as I did when that goal went in too many times in my career. We're gutted, absolutely devastated, but we've got to show a bit of steel to bounce back. This is a bitter pill to swallow but we've got to put it to bed quickly and move on to Russia.
I think the occasion got to us a little, we were a bit rushed. We gave the ball back to England too many times. But that's the only criticism I can make of my team.
Gareth Bale, Wales forward
Massively disappointing, but I'm very proud of everybody. We gave everything, like we always do. As I said before, if we go out, we give 100% and have no regrets then we can't do any more. We're very disappointed at the moment, but inside we still feel strong, we still feel happy. We're enjoying the experience. We still have one more game to go and the tournament's not over yet.