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Harry Kane: ‘Judge England on World Cup performance’

Harry Kane: ‘Judge England on World Cup performance’

England captain Harry Kane has told critics to judge his side on their World Cup performance following their relegation from the Nations League.

The Three Lions faced Italy on Friday night knowing that defeat would signal the end of their time in League A Group 2 after going winless in a dismal four-game June run.

England ultimately succumbed to a second-half Giacomo Raspadori winner in another blunt attacking performance, which confirmed their demotion to League B.

Gareth Southgate‘s side have experienced a wave of painful blows in the months leading up to the 2022 World Cup, where they will join Iran, Wales and the USA in Group B.

While Kane can sympathise with frustrated fans in the wake of their Nations League relegation, the Tottenham Hotspur man believes that such failures will be consigned to history if England can perform in Qatar.

© Reuters

“I understand the frustration of the fans. I was an England fan – and I still am an England fan whether I’m playing or not. So I understand it. But ultimately we are going to be judged on what happens come November,” Kane told reporters, as quoted by The Mirror.

“If we have a successful tournament, I’m not sure people will be worried about the spell we’ve had over the summer – and that’s the bottom line. We need to improve. We know that.

“The fans are always great and stick with us. I know they will be there on Monday supporting us (against Germany) and everyone will be excited about the World Cup, regardless of what happens. Hopefully, we can repay them with some good results.”

Kane has come up with England’s only goal from their five Nations League games so far in the 2022-23 tournament, an 88th-minute penalty against Germany in June’s 1-1 draw.

The Three Lions are one of only two teams in the Nations League to have failed to score from open play in their first five games, with the other being 211st-ranked San Marino.

England players look dejected after Roland Sallai scores for Hungary on June 14, 2022© Reuters

More unwanted feats were matched in the loss to Italy, as England went three games without scoring for the first time since 2000 and failed to win in five successive competitive matches for the first time in 30 years.

However, Kane has insisted that the Three Lions’ recent profligacy in front of goal will not get to them, adding: “We’re a really strong group. We’re always honest with one another. We are always talking about how we can improve. The players are ultimately the ones on the pitch and need to take that responsibility.

“Gareth is always there to try and do that. But we know as players that we need to do better. We’re just not quite doing the business at the moment, especially on the attacking front.

“It’s disappointing, for sure, but I’m a confident guy. I also know the strikers and attacking players here are confident players. It’s not going to affect us too much. We just need to try to turn that around, and that starts on Monday.”

England will aim to end a doomed Nations League campaign on a high when they welcome Germany to Wembley on Monday evening, which will be their final competitive match before the World Cup.

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