Harry Kane is proud of the way England’s rising stars have adapted so quickly to international football after their impressive performances in the opening two Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi both made their debuts as England beat the Czech Republic and Montenegro 5-0 and 5-1 respectively.
And Kane, 25, has no doubt that England’s future is in capable hands, adding that he is now part of a more experienced group of players who are responsible for the younger members of Gareth Southgate’s squad.
“I’m extremely proud. Not so long ago, I was 21 and making my debut and these guys are even younger, so it’s great for our nation,” he said.
“It’s great for me to watch and maybe help coach along the way. Me, [Jordan] Henderson and [Kyle] Walker, people like that. It’s down to us to be leaders in the team, show people how we want to do things.
“Everyone has been great. They’ve come in and we haven’t had to tell them much. We’ve just told them to express themselves and that’s what they’ve done.
“They just want the ball. They just want to get on the ball, play one-versus-one, and attack. For me, that’s perfect. I could just leave them to it.”
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 26, 2019
West Ham youngster Rice impressed on his first start, playing a key role in midfield as England thrashed Montenegro on Monday.
Rice, who represented the Republic of Ireland in three friendlies at senior level before switching allegiance to England, issued an apology for historic pro-Irish Republican Party (IRA) comments he made on social media in 2015.
But despite the controversy, Rice was thrilled with the welcome he received from England fans.
“When I found out that I was starting, I was bursting with pride,” he said.
“Walking out was amazing. I had my whole family there. Singing the anthem, I could see them while I was singing it. I made eye contact with them early on. That was incredible.
“I thought there was maybe going to be some booing. I didn’t know how the fans would take to me. But the reception from the England fans has been top-class. They have taken me in.
“I now have to keep up a high standard back at my club then, hopefully, be in the plans for the summer. That’s the aim. I want to be in this squad as long as possible, because there’s exciting things happening.”
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