Cameron Carter-Vickers has admitted that he is looking forward to locking horns against England at the World Cup and opened up on the influence that Harry Kane had on him when he was coming through the ranks at Tottenham.
England go into the game against the United States this evening knowing that a win will be enough to seal progression to the knockout stages of the World Cup.
The Three Lions will be high on confidence following their 6-2 demolition of Iran on Monday but they face a sterner test against the Americans, who gave a decent account of themselves in the 1-1 draw against Wales.
Carter-Vickers, who was an unused substitute for the opening game, admitted that the clash against England was the one he and his teammates were looking forward to since the draw was made.
The former Spurs man told The Daily Record: “Obviously, when I saw the group was drawn, and I saw we were in the same group as England, I was excited. They are one of the top teams in the world. To be able to play against them and match up against them to see where you are at is a good thing.
“They’ve got a squad full of top players. So I think we all know that we have to put in one of our best performances to beat them. It’s a game that I really want to win, just like any other game in the World Cup. I’m not too sure how I’m going to feel when the game comes around.
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“But I do know that I’ll be doing everything I can to try and help the team win. It’s been great for me. From my first camp. I have felt welcomed and enjoyed it. I continue to.
“It’s always good when you know a bit about your opponents. These days, without the amount of resources there are, no matter who you play, you know a bit about them before you go onto the pitch.”
Carter-Vickers joined the Tottenham academy at the age of 11 and progressed through the age group ranks to make it to the senior side before finally departing to join Celtic permanently this season.
The centre-back admitted that he looked up to Kane during his time in North London and learned from the way the striker conducted himself on and off the field.
When asked about coming up against his former club teammate, Carter-Vickers said: “Training with him, you can see every day how hard he works, his dedication not just on the field, off the field as well. It’s top-notch, and you can see how consistent he has been over the last so many years now.
“That only comes if you are doing the right thing day in and day out. You could say that probably coming from the academy at Tottenham, you look up to players like him and other players in the first team playing well and consistently performing.”
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While the United States cannot match England’s technical quality, the Americans will be able to match the English in terms of energy and physicality. So, Southgate’s men cannot afford to take this game lightly, particularly on the back of the other shocks we have seen in this World Cup already.