Jose Mourinho urges national team boss to protect Spurs star


Jose Mourinho has admitted that he is hopeful Gareth Southgate will protect Harry Kane during the upcoming international break but insisted that he will not interfere in the England boss’ selection.

The upcoming international break from 22 March to 1 April has been a source of much controversy due to the UK government’s travel restrictions which require those travelling to ‘red list’ countries to self-isolate for a set period on their return.

Jose Mourinho has joined a number of other managers in hinting that the club could prevent some players from leaving for international duty depending on the locations they are expected to travel to.

That is not expected to be a problem for the England contingent, with the Three Lions hosting San Marino and Austria while travelling to Albania for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Kane is likely to get plenty of minutes across the international break given the striker’s importance to England set up.

When asked if he expects Kane to play all three matches, Mourinho insisted that he has no say on the matter but admitted that he is hopeful the 27-year-old can be protected.

The Spurs boss told The Evening Standard: “I cannot do Gareth’s work, the same way Gareth is not trying to do my work.

“He doesn’t make any comments about my selection, he doesn’t give any public opinion about who I should play or rest or give more minutes to these English players. He doesn’t make any comment so I also don’t feel comfortable in doing that.

“If in the summer, I do some little funny media work, then I’ll feel some freedom to speak about others’ jobs. But in this moment I don’t feel comfortable.

“He does what he wants, what’s best for the team. He has a good relation with Harry, so that means good communication and, without me in the middle, I hope that in between them they can find some compromise to protect the player a little bit.

“I have no control. If I could choose I would love them all to go because I love my players to be involved in national teams. I think it’s a question of pride for them and a plus for us as a club so we like the players to go.

“But of course if we could choose we wouldn’t like the players to play three matches, but it’s not in our hands, it’s in the hands of their national team managers.

“There is nothing we can say. If one of you ask me is he going to play tomorrow or is he going to rest, I answer already that he’s going to play. The game is open, it’s an important game for us so he plays tomorrow.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Given that this is the final three matches leading up to the Euros, one would assume that Gareth Southgate would shuffle his pack and try out various combinations to see who he can trust.

Kane is guaranteed to be on the plane and start every game but there is a real battle for second and third choice strikers in the squad between the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings, Patrick Bamford, Callum Wilson, Tammy Abraham and potentially even Ollie Watkins.

So one would assume Southgate would rest Kane for the clash against San Marino and give at least a couple of those players a go to see how they fare.

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