Don’t panic! England captain Harry Kane urges the nation to be ‘patient’ with himself and the team after the striker continued stuttering start to Euro 2020 in draw against Scotland… as he insists he is NOT injured ahead of Czech Republic clash
- England skipper Harry Kane has asked the country to be patient with the team
- The Three Lions were booed off the Wembley turf after a dismal 0-0 vs Scotland
- Kane says the squad are ‘not panicking’ and are ‘calm’ about their prospects
- He backed Gareth Southgate for subbing him off and stressed he is not injured
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
England captain Harry Kane urged fans to keep the faith with both him and the national team as he vowed to return as good as ever for Tuesday’s Group D decider against the Czech Republic.
England were booed off after the disappointing 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley on Friday night, but Kane insists he has no fitness concerns, that he remains unflustered by talk of his future at Spurs and that he has no issue with being substituted in the 74th minute after having had so little impact.
He remains certain that England still have a chance to win the Euros and that he can yet replicate his World Cup performances in 2018 and win the Golden Boot.
England captain Harry Kane has urged the country to be patient after an indifferent Euro 2020
Kane insisted that England are still in the process of finding their best combinations because of their abrupt build-up to the tournament caused by Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United players being involved in European club finals.
Asked what his message to booing fans was, Kane said: ‘Just to be patient, to be calm. We’re not going to play perfect every game. The main thing is that we as a group are in a good mind space and good place.
‘No one’s panicking here. No one is thinking we’ve got to change the way we do stuff. It’s a matter of just improving and working on a few bits that we know we can get better at and hopefully taking that into what will be the business end now.
‘From our point of view, inside the group, it’s time to be calm. The first objective was to qualify. If you turn the results around and we drew against Croatia and beat Scotland and had four points, I don’t think there would be too many arguments or too many disappointed with that.
‘Of course we could have played a lot better on Friday night but these games aren’t easy. Scotland are playing for their life in this tournament. They’ve got a great team togetherness, so you don’t just turn up and walk over teams. You have to play to your best ability to win those games. We didn’t quite do that but we didn’t lose which was important.
The Tottenham forward continued his goalless start to the tournament against Scotland
The team were booed off by supporters against Scotland after labouring to a 0-0 stalemate
‘The mood among the boys and maybe the experienced boys is to be calm. We’re in a good spot. We’ve got a chance to win on Tuesday which puts us top of the group and that opens up the knockout stage which is when things get a bit more ruthless, almost exciting and it’s a chance to really go on the big stage and show what we’ve got.’
Despite his lacklustre showing, Kane says he has no issues with the ankle injury that interrupted his season and dismissed suggestions by Roy Keane that talk of wanting to leave Spurs had sapped him of energy.
‘No, absolutely not,’ he said. ‘To be honest, all my focus is on how I can help this team and how we can be successful in this tournament. I understand from a media point of view there is speculation but I am fully focused on the job we have here.
‘Many times I’ve gone two games without scoring in my career. In tournament football, it gets highlighted a lot more and there’s a lot talk about it. I’m not someone who gets too high or too low. I know the chances will come with the players we have got. And when they do I will be more than capable of putting them away.’
Kane stressed he was not injured and totally focused on England despite doubts at Tottenham
England are behind the Czech Republic on goal difference ahead of their final group clash
England manager Gareth Southgate conceded that it was highly unusual to substitute your captain, saying; ‘It’s important you have a bench but of course it’s always difficult when it’s your captain [being subbed] because he is player we’ve never had to take off in the past and at the club you leave him on in any circumstance.’
But Kane said: ‘Gareth is within his rights to make the changes he thinks are best for the team. What we’ve learned over past tournaments is about trying to peak at the right time. The best time to be peaking is in the knockout stages and hopefully kick on from there.
‘Maybe in Russia  there were times, towards the quarter and semi-final, when I wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be. In the end we didn’t quite get to where we wanted to go, maybe partly for that reason. It’s about managing the squad, making sure everyone is feeling as fit and sharp as possible. In my case, it was a tough couple of games and it’s about making sure I’m right for the rest of them as they come up.’
Asked whether he had any injury issues, he said: ‘No, no, no. I didn’t have any issues. I didn’t feel physically I wasn’t up to it. I felt going into those games as good as I’ve felt all season. It’s been a strange build-up to a tournament, I guess, in terms of not having as much time to work on things on the training pitch as we normally do.
He stressed there was a ‘calm’ mood in the camp ahead of their clash against Czech Republic
Kane backed his boss Gareth Southgate for subbing him off in both his tournament games
‘We [normally] have maybe four weeks leading up to a camp. We probably only had one or two and a lot of the players had Champions League or Europa League, so it’s been a strange camp.
‘These first couple of games have almost been for us to work on some things and build on some things and see where we need to improve. The pleasing thing is we’ve got four points in those two games. We know we can improve. We know we’ve got a lot more to give but also we’re almost qualified, which is the main objective to begin with.
‘You don’t play as many England games as you do club football. It might take you a game or two to get that little bit more understanding of where each other are going to be on the pitch, the runs players make when I drop deep, people running in behind, or vice-versa. I feel these couple of games have been a bit of that. Everyone is getting used to each other a little bit more. That shows the sign of a good team.
‘We’ve had two great clean sheets and that’s what we’re going to be going forward.
England still believe they can win the Euros despite their draw against Scotland, Kane says
The Spurs man is upbeat that the goals will come as he bids to end the group stage on a high
‘We all pride ourselves on not conceding from front to back and now I feel we can get better in the attacking third and be a bit more fluid and a bit more free and create a few more chances. Then we can be a real strong team at this tournament.
‘Just look at the last European Championship in 2016. I don’t think Portugal won a group game but they ended up winning the tournament so it’s slightly rare that you win all your group and knockout games and have a straight line to the top and lift the trophy.
‘Sometimes you have a few ups and downs, maybe a few reality checks to make you work on a few things it helps the team and the environment and helps you improve for the later stages and that’s the case for us. We still believe we have a great chance.
‘It is not a time overthink stuff, it’s just about staying focused. I know what I’m capable of.’
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