Harry Kane is confident that he can prove his doubters wrong by producing his best form in the knockout stages of the European Championships.
While England picked up seven points in the Group stages and did not concede a single goal, they have not been at their sparkling best in the tournament so far, especially going forward.
Kane is one of several of England’s attacking players who have flattered to deceive so far in the tournament, with the Tottenham man failing to score in the three matches.
After Gareth Southgate’s men played out a 0-0 draw against Scotland, there were some who called for the England captain to be dropped.
The 27-year-old looked much sharper against the Czechs but he still was not able to open his account, which is potentially a worrying sign for England ahead of their big test against the Germans on Tuesday.
While Kane admitted that he has not been at his best in the Euros so far, he insisted that he is fully confident of putting away any chances that come his way on Tuesday.
He told The Evening Standard: “It’s definitely not the first time people have doubted me in my career, that’s for sure. That’s part and parcel of it.
“I’ve said all along as a striker you go through some great spells where you are scoring every game and everything you touch turns into goals.
“And then there are somewhere things don’t fall your way, the keeper makes some saves and that’s probably the way it’s gone in this tournament so far.
“I know, especially the first two games, I could have probably played better. For me, it is about trying to peak at the right time and the right time in tournament football is the knockout stages.
“I feel good, I feel sharp. I felt good, definitely, in the third game. This training week is going to be great and hopefully, I can come into my best form into the knockout stage and that will help the team.
“I thought the third game was a tough game, but I felt a lot better. I felt I had a lot more involvement in the game, not just with the ball, but without the ball and holding it up, helping the team in that aspect.
“People are quick to change their mind, it wasn’t too long ago when I won the Golden Boot and I was the best thing in the world.
“People were raving about you and that’s why I’ve always said, as a footballer, you can’t get too high or too low, you just have to have a neutral mode.
“Self-belief is a huge thing. I’ve always believed in myself. I could go 10, 15 games without scoring, but give me a chance and I’d back myself to score it.”
Some have questioned whether the Tottenham star is 100 per cent fit on the back of his displays in the first few games.
Kane has now acknowledged that the time he has had under his belt in the tournament so far has been beneficial and insisted that he is confident of peaking in the knockout stages.
He added: “Going into Tuesday night, physically, I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far, and that’s what I kind of wanted going into this.
“I felt maybe in Russia I started on fire, scored loads of goals, then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the most important games, the quarters and the semi-finals.
“So coming into this, physically, I wanted to make sure I was peaking at the right time and obviously we won’t know until Tuesday night if that’s the case, but the way I feel, that’s the way I feel it’s going.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is ridiculous that Kane’s place in the side is being questioned by some. He is England’s most potent attacking threat and if Southgate is not able to get the best out of him, the problem lies in the system, not with Kane.
I thought he combined very well with the likes of Sterling, Grealish and Saka against the Czechs and it is clear that the 27-year-old needs to fire if England have any hope of going all the way in the tournament.
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