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I´m not tired, I feel sharp – Kane hits back at critics

Harry Kane insists he is “sharp” and “fresh” after receiving criticism over his lacklustre performances for England at Euro 2016.

The striker is yet to score at the finals and was left out of the England team for their final group match against Slovakia, a 0-0 draw that ensured Roy Hodgson’s team finished in second place in Group B.

That draw means England face Iceland in the round of 16 on Monday and Kane hit back at his critics, denying their accusations that he is exhausted after a gruelling Premier League season with Tottenham.

“I’m not tired, I’m 100 per cent fresh and I feel sharp, I feel ready,” Kane said. “If called upon I’ll be going out there and giving it 110 percent.

“It’s exciting. We’ve done what we’ve needed to do and got through the group stage. The focus is all on Iceland, we’re not looking too far ahead, we want to beat Iceland and progress to the quarter-finals and then we’ll see who we get and go from there.

“We fancy ourselves against anyone and we’re very confident in our ability. It’s definitely a tournament we can win. We are one of the best teams in the tournament. We’re confident and we don’t fear anyone.”

Kane conceded that England, who have scored just three goals in the tournament so far, need to be more clinical in front of goal in the knockout rounds of Euro 2016.

“We’re not scoring as many goals as we should have, we’ve had a lot of chances that we probably could have done better with,” Kane said. “You have to be patient and I think we’ve done that. We’ve been the better team in every game we’ve played.

“We’re doing all we can to put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve scored a few goals, it isn’t like we’ve scored no goals at all, maybe we can be a bit more clinical in the final third. But it’s not just the finishing, I think a few passes and crosses could have been a bit better.”

Hodgson’s men could face hosts France in the quarter-finals after finishing behind Wales in Group B, but Kane said England are not worried about their future opponents.

“I think we’re all pretty calm to be honest,” Kane said. “We’ve seen a lot of talk about being on this side of the draw and who we could face but we’re a confident bunch of players.

“If you’re going to win a major tournament you’re going to have to beat some of the best teams in the world, so we’re calm. We’re focused on Iceland and it’ll be a tough game. They’ve done great and finished second in their group. We’re focused on trying to progress and win that game.”

England have struggled to break deep-lying teams down throughout the finals and Kane accepted Iceland are likely to set up in a very similar way to their group stage opponents Russia, Wales and Slovakia.

“That’s something that we’re going to have to deal with,” Kane said. “A lot of teams are going to see the way we play and the players we’ve got and they’ll try to defend to the best of their abilities.

“Looking at Iceland and what we’ve seen of them so far, that’s what they like to do, catch teams on the counter-attack.

“But if we want to progress in this tournament and go far then we’ll have to find a solution to deal with that and try to perform on the pitch.”

Fri 24 Jun, 2016
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