Gareth Southgate has admitted that it would be ‘hugely unfortunate’ if Harry Kane were to break Wayne Rooney’s goal record for England in a match that is played behind closed doors.
Kane scored from the penalty spot to help England beat Switzerland 2-1 on Saturday.
The strike was the Tottenham man’s 49th goal for his country, which meant that he overtook Gary Lineker’s record and now has the joint second-most goals for the Three Lions along with Bobby Charlton (Goal.com).
Only Rooney with 53 goals is now ahead of him in the list and the current England captain could well break the former Manchester United star’s record in the Nations League fixtures in June.
However, England’s clash against Hungary in Budapest and Italy at Wembley will have no fans present following sanctions from UEFA.
Hungary have been punished for the behaviour of their supporters during Euro 2020 while England’s ban is because of disorder during their final against Italy at Wembley (The Times).
Southgate admitted that it would be disappointing not to have fans present at the ground when Kane becomes the nation’s all-time leading scorer.
When asked about Kane potentially breaking Rooney’s record in a match played behind closed doors this summer, the England boss responded (via The Guardian): “I don’t think Harry will worry where he is playing in terms of the opportunity to break the record But that would be hugely unfortunate [if it was to be in an empty stadium].
“Frankly we have seen and had enough of games behind closed doors but for both countries, it is a punishment because our fans and their fans weren’t able to control themselves.
“That’s an embarrassment for us but it is the situation we have got. It would be particularly sad if that was the game where Harry broke the record.”
Southgate also hinted that he might rest Kane for England’s friendly against Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.
When asked if it will be a tough decision on leaving his captain out of the starting lineup, he said: “No, that’s not a tough decision. We want to keep all of the squad involved.
“All of the players are also in a part of the season where they’re coming in off a heavy load of games and are going back into important games, so this is one of those occasions when it works for us and the clubs when it comes to sharing the load.
“We need to find out about players and we still can bring players from the bench. We want to keep going on a positive run of results as well.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It will be quite unfortunate for Kane should he break the record behind closed doors as he deserves recognition from supporters for the feat, given the service he has given for his country.
Perhaps the striker would secretly be hoping that he breaks the record at the World Cup in Qatar. In that respect, perhaps not playing against Ivory Coast on Tuesday could be a blessing in disguise for the 28-year-old.
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