Kane remains confident

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Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Harry Kane has no intention of allowing England Under-21s to slip meekly out of the European Championship and still believes Gareth Southgate’s men can win the tournament.

A bruising build-up proved too much for the Young Lions in Uherske Hradiste on Thursday, with the absence of John Stones and Saido Berahino keenly felt in the Group B opener against Portugal.

England battled hard and proved a constant threat at the Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadion, only to succumb to a 1-0 defeat which leaves them potentially facing a third straight group-stage exit.

It makes tomorrow’s match against Sweden a must-win encounter, but star turn Kane remains relaxed and, more surprisingly, confident of overall glory.

Asked if there is a genuine belief that England can win the tournament, he told Press Association Sport: “Yeah, definitely. Nothing has changed for us.

“We know winning two games will get you out of the group and that’s still the case.

“It’s not about panicking and changing our game plan, it is still the same. We’ve got to keep playing the way we do.

“We know we’ve got goals in the team, clean sheets in the team and a lot of good players. It’s just about keeping focused and doing the right things.”

Head coach Southgate will be pleased with such comments, so too the ability to call upon Wolves’ Benik Afobe against Sweden after a knee injury saw Berahino return home.

Everton defender Stones remains absent due to suspected concussion, but fortunately there are no new issues to contend with.

England can certainly ill-afford any more setbacks and keeping Kane fit will be particularly important, especially after such a taxing season and travel-heavy summer.

Post-season trips to Malaysia and Australia with Tottenham was hardly ideal preparation for the Euros, but the forward insists he is not feeling run down.

“I feel fine, I feel fresh,” Kane said. “I am as fit as I ever have been and I really wanted to come to this tournament and try to win this tournament and that’s still the aim.

“I am feeling fine. A lot of the other players have played a lot of games this season as well, but that’s football and that’s what you have to do.

“To play in this major tournaments, you have to cope with that. There’s no issue with that.”

There also appears to be no issues when it comes to Kane’s future.

The 21-year-old’s remarkable season has naturally led vultures to circle over north London, with Manchester United strongly linked with a summer move for the striker.

Kane is flattered by such interest but has reassured Spurs fans, saying he sees no reason to leave White Hart Lane anytime soon.

“Obviously we finished fifth last year and that’s knowing we can do better as well,” he said.

“We gained a year’s experience and, yeah, we are really upbeat for next season. Hopefully we can push into that top four.”

Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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