Striking out: Harry Kane bemoans lack of scoring chances for England at Euro 2016
England striker Harry Kane laid bare his team’s attacking problems on Friday when he said he has not had one clear scoring opportunity at Euro 2016.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker started England’s first two games in the tournament, against Russia and Wales, but was substituted at half-time against Wales and played only 14 minutes of the 0-0 draw with Slovakia.
Kane therefore faces a fight for a starting place in Monday’s last-16 game against Iceland in Nice, but he does not believe he has been given a chance to prove how clinical he can be in front of goal.
Asked if he had had a chance in the tournament to date, Kane replied: “Probably not a clear chance where I’d say: ‘I’m disappointed I missed that, I wish I’d scored that one.’
“But as a striker, you just have to be ready for when that chance comes. And I’ll definitely be ready.”
England’s attacking shortcomings have been the subject of debate since the stalemate with Slovakia in Saint-Etienne last Monday.
Despite 29 attempts, Roy Hodgson’s side could not find the goal that would have taken them through as group B winners and prevented them from falling into the more difficult half of the draw.
Hodgson was criticised for making six changes to his starting line-up for the game, but Kane echoed captain Wayne Rooney by defending the manager’s choices.
“We knew the team was going to be rotated and the gaffer [manager] has chosen to do that,” Kane said. “You have to just take it, move forward with it and take it in your stride.”
Kane won the Premier League’s Golden Boot after scoring 25 goals last season and went into Euro 2016 as England’s first-choice number nine.
There have been suggestions in the British media that he is tired, having also played for England at last year’s Under-21 European Championship in the Czech Republic, in between two gruelling seasons for Spurs.
But he said at England’s Chantilly media centre: “I’m not tired. I’ve had it before, last year at the Under-21 Euro. People said the same thing, but I feel 100 per cent fresh and ready.”
The loss of Kane’s England place has come less than two months after Spurs were pipped to the Premier League title by Leicester City, but he said that he was having no trouble digesting the twin disappointments.
“Not a lot has changed,” said the 22-year-old, who has scored five goals in 15 England appearances.
“I’m someone who will always work hard and try and improve. There’s always going to be ups and downs in football.
“You’re never going to just be on one big high and never hit a little bump. I’m very confident. I’m not really worried about the situation.
“I’ll go out there and do my best, train as hard as I can and try and impress the manager.
“I speak to my family and my girlfriend. We chat about things. But I don’t really get too high or too low.
“As a footballer, the more calm you can be, you can see the future and see what you have to do to overcome these things. That’s what I try and do, and keep a clear mind.”
Kane also sought to deflect the criticism of Hodgson for asking him to take England’s corners in their warm-up games and opening 1-1 draw with Russia in Marseille.
“It’s been blown out of proportion a bit,” he said.
“The manager wanted me to do it and I’ve done it. The manager didn’t want me to do it against Wales, so I didn’t do it.”