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John Hartson | 'You’re calling us Welsh touchy'

Wales and Celtic legend John Hartson joined Off The Ball to look ahead to Sunday's Six Nations cl...

Wales and Celtic legend John Hartson joined Off The Ball to look ahead to Sunday's Six Nations clash between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium.

Tensions have been running high in the build-up to the game ever since Wales were labelled "a rubbish team" on Monday's OTB AM.

Former Wales prop Adam Jones said that the comments were "disrespectful", while Wales head-coach Wayne Pivac was asked about it in his press conference and said that "it adds some spice" to the game.

Therefore, it was put to Hartson on Friday's Off The Ball that the reaction in Wales has been a bit over the top.

"You’re calling us Welsh touchy, I can’t believe that. I can wind the Irish rugby fans up by just sending a tweet. The dramas that come out of it and I’m just a normal guy who’s giving an opinion," Hartson said.

The former striker also warned that these sort of controversies can often inspire a team to a big performance.

Hartson cited an example from his days at Celtic when they played Graeme Souness' Blackburn Rovers in the UEFA Cup.

"I remember we played Blackburn in the fifth round of the UEFA Cup back in 2003, we actually got to the final that year and lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto," he said.

"It was a two-legged affair against Blackburn and we won 1-0 in the first-leg at Celtic Park. 

"The next morning in the papers, Souness said even though they had lost, it was like watching men against boys.

"We just sort of laughed it off but for the second leg, Martin O’Neill actually pinned the papers on the dressing room walls. He was almost saying, there’s my team talk lads, last week their manager thought it was men against boys.

"He was calling Bobo Balde, myself, Chris Sutton, Henrik Larsson, Neil Lennon and Alan Thompson boys.

"We went there and we absolutely thumped them at Ewood Park."

John Hartson

Hartson finished up by giving his score prediction for Sunday's big game.

"I think it will be a really close game because Ireland are always a good side," he said.

"I'm going to go Wales close. I'm going to say Wales 16-12 and it will be a couple of kicks that decide it."

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Celtic Hartson Ireland John Hartson Martin O'Neill Rugby Six Nations Wales Wales Ireland