Kane plays down fitness concerns after Scotland substitution

Harry Kane has dismissed rumours that a lack of fitness has been hampering his displays at the European Championships, insisting he feels “as good as [he’s] felt all season.”

Kane, the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner, is yet to open his account for England at the Euros, having produced two below-par performances against Croatia and Scotland.

The captain was substituted on both occasions, raising concerns that he is perhaps being troubled by an underlying injury.


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Having topped the charts for goals and assists in the Premier League last season, expectations were high for Kane going into the tournament. The 27-year-old started each of Tottenham Hotspur’s last five games, apparently fully fit.

Kane, though, has looked sluggish for England so far, yet to find his rhythm. Speaking to The Guardian, the marksman felt obliged to address those displays.

“Gareth [Southgate] is within his rights to make the changes he thinks are best for the team,” he said when asked for his reaction to being replaced in both of England’s games so far.

“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 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.

“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, if I’m honest.”

Kane is currently embroiled in a high-profile transfer saga with Spurs, having recently informed the club of his desire to leave and fight for major trophies.

Manchester United and Manchester City are said to be plotting a move for his signature, but the striker has denied the notion that the rumour mill is affecting his England performances.

“Absolutely not,” he insisted. “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 here.”

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