‘United’ England squad ready to lift another trophy

By AFP
Published: June 12, 2018
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PHOTO: Reuters

PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON: Captain Harry Kane says England’s bid to end their World Cup drought stretching back over half a century will not be undone by a divided squad.

The 24-year-old striker said there were no cliques within the squad that flies out to Russia later on Tuesday seeking to emulate their 1966 predecessors in lifting the trophy.

Both Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard claimed the reason they and the others who made up the so-called ‘golden generation’ fell short at successive finals was they could not shake off their different club rivalries when they joined up with their England team-mates.

Kane, though, told the English daily newspapers this is not the case with the present group under Gareth Southgate — as many of them have played with each other at Under-21 level.

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“It’s not something we’ve had to deal with really — we all get on very well and have come through the ranks together, we definitely don’t have that divide in the team anymore,” said Kane.

Kane also took issue with Ferdinand who told The Times last month his priority had been winning trophies with Manchester United.

“It’s the one competition that everybody dreams of winning. That’s Number one. I’d be surprised if the majority of players did not say the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world.”

England striker admits winning for England trumps all other victories: “I’d love to win everything with Tottenham, but for me personally the World Cup outweighs them all.”

Kane, who says his mum cried when he was handed the captaincy by Southgate, does not expect a repeat of the woeful Euro 2016 campaign which saw them beaten by minnows Iceland in the last 16 and cost then manager Roy Hodgson his job.

“I’m confident it won’t happen (again) — I won’t say 100 per cent because you never know in football — but in this team we wear our heart on our sleeve. We’re proud to be here, we will work hard, be energetic. First and foremost we will run around and do that aspect of the game. We have a lot of attacking flair that can do some damage.”

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