England environment has helped Kane maintain scoring form, says Southgate

Gareth Southgate believes that a settled atmosphere with England has allowed Harry Kane to maintain his goalscoring form at international level despite the striker’s difficulties at Tottenham.

Kane is still waiting for his first Premier League goal this season and his indifferent club form has led to speculation that he is yet to move on from failing to land a move to Manchester City in the summer. However, the England captain has continued to shine on the international stage, hitting three goals in three outings last month, and he will be confident of scoring for the 16th consecutive qualifying game when Southgate’s team host Hungary on Tuesday.

“What’s going on with his club is none of my business really,” Southgate said. “In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we’ve obviously got a settled way of playing here. His teammates know him, he knows his teammates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards. There are obviously some games that are against a lower level of opponent, where it’s slightly easier to score goals.

“But he’s scored against some of the biggest opponents for us. I can’t talk about the club but I think he feels settled in our environment. I think it’s an environment where he knows we have belief but we have pushed him. We want improvement from the team all the time. Of course as the captain he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can’t fault his application and dedication to what we’re doing. He’s got a real desire to go well with us.”

Kane remains vital for England, who are top of their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup. The 28-year-old forward overtook Michael Owen’s tally of 40 goals when he scored in the draw with Poland last month and he is closing in on Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53 for his country.

“Harry obviously scored three goals in three different matches for us in September so I didn’t sense any change in his approach with us,” Southgate said. “There’s a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations. Like all players there will be an adaptation to that.”

Mason Mount has followed Tammy Abraham in revealing he is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The midfielder was forced to miss England’s match against the Czech Republic at Euro 2020 after being deemed a close contact of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who had tested positive.

“I’m double vaccinated now,” Mount said. “Going through that experience, missing the game, a top, top game, kind of did have an effect on my decision. But I think for players and personally-wise it’s down to their decision – how they feel about it. I don’t think you can force anyone to get it but, for me, going through that experience did make me want to get it and get it quite quickly.”

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