England manager Gareth Southgate made it clear that Harry Kane will start the Euro 2020 game against Czech Republic.
England’s Euro 2020 campaign so far hasn’t been poor but the Three Lions already find themselves under pressure. A 0-0 draw to rivals Scotland exposed a number of issues they currently face. Yet the fact of the matter is that their fate is in their own hands. A win against Czech Republic will not only guarantee qualification, but also table-topper status. That being said, besting the Czechs will prove easier said than done. Especially since England skipper Harry Kane has been in poor form so far in the Euros. Yet, despite talks of maybe dropping him, England manager Gareth Southgate made it clear he will start the next game.
“You can assume that yeah (that Kane will start), absolutely, I don’t mind giving you that one. He is our most important player, there is no doubt about that. You only have to look at his goalscoring record with us to see his importance to the team.
“He is fundamental not only for the goals he scores, but the build-up play and everything else he brings. I know there will be a lot of questions being asked about him at the moment. But he has been through that 100 times before.
“I have answered that in this role several times in the past and he has come up with the goals that have won us the next games. I expect that to be the same moving forward.
“In one of the games, we were already ahead and we needed energy. We needed to press and keep the lead and didn’t need additional goals.”
“During the World Cup, we ended up with Harry playing a lot of football and we felt we needed to manage the load a bit this time. We have got good options on the bench to bring people into the game.”
Meanwile, England winger Raheem Sterling said the vitriol aimed at players after the Scotland draw wasn’t warranted. “I do feel there’s a bit of an over-reaction on the whole,” Sterling said.
Sterling added that there’s more panic on the outside than there is in the camp. He also said that the focus of the players is more on the task at hand instead of outside rumblings.
“I just feel there’s more of a panic on the outside than inside the building. I don’t see anyone in the camp that feels any pressure or feels hard done by.
“As much as we can inside the building the best thing we can do is focus on the training field. Focus on what’s being doing inside.
“We really shouldn’t be looking what the papers are saying, what pundits are saying. That’s something we need to take for the rest of this tournament. The more you listen to outside noise, the more it can affect you.
“The positive is that we can go out on Tuesday (in the final group tie against the Czech Republic), get a good win and that second game (against Scotland) is all forgotten about.”
England, despite being considered a football powerhouse, have never won the European Championships throughout the existence of the tournament. This is something they are desparate to correct in Euro 2020.
They had a forgettable outing in 2016, as they were dumped out in the Round of 16 after a loss against minnows Iceland.