Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gareth Southgate Says Harry Kane Wants To Start Against San Marino

Gareth Southgate has said Harry Kane is eager to play for England in their final World Cup qualifier against minnows San Marino on Monday.

The Three Lions need just a point to secure their place in Qatar after thrashing Albania 5-0 on Friday night – a game in which Kane scored a perfect hat trick.

That treble meant he has now scored more competitive goals for England than any other player, and is just nine strikes behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record.

Kane would fancy his chances of putting a few past the side bottom of the FIFA world rankings.

When asked about whether Kane would be given a rest or if he is raring to go again, Southgate said his side will look to treat this match like any other.

“With Harry, I don’t think it would be right to treat this game any differently to any other by giving you [the media] the team,” he said (via the Evening Standard).

“But, for sure, he is keen to play. He wants to play. We have got to make sure we get this game won and we still have to try to qualify for the World Cup.

“When we are picking a team, no matter the opponent, we are always thinking about having the right balance and leadership.

“In any game, if you don’t have the right leaders on the pitch and you don’t start the game well, then it can lead to anxiety and if you have not got enough experience around, that can lead to unnecessary difficult moments.

“We want players to win the ball back, players who can create. We are going to have a lot of the ball, so we need people who can open up the defence and score goals.

Harry Kane
Kane rounded off his hat trick on Friday with an acrobatic volley / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

“Then there is a balance of players who have been important squad members for us, making sure that the others who have started the bigger matches, if you like, they will have to support the others when they are in.

“They get incredible support from the squad when we are playing matches and I don’t think it ever does any of the starters any harm to recognise that and repay it.

“We are progressing as we are because of the squad and the mentality of the whole group. Sometimes you have to play that different role in all positions to get that understanding.”

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