Whilst many pundits were damning of England’s first game with Russia, the second game in Lens was on the brink of another underwhelming draw, had it not been for some last minute Daniel Sturridge brilliance.
In recent times, the attitudes of English fans towards their national teams has been one of subdued anxiety. The possibility of an early exit or another case of underperforming superstars overshadows the high expectations of the proud footballing nation.
“You have to use it to your advantage when people doubt you,” Harry Kane insists.
Kane knows all about the ‘doubters.’
In the space of two years, he’s propelled himself from an unknown reserve player at Tottenham to starting as striker for the English national team. Kane’s self-inspired determination from a desire to make it no matter what and prove people wrong comes through in the way he plays; attacking without fear of failure.
Clearly, the ‘underdog’ has always been Kane’s thing.
“Self-belief is a big thing. If you don’t believe in yourself then not many other people are going to believe in you,” he says. “When a chance comes along, you have to snap it up.”
Kane’s emergence as a cut-throat striker has made him an indispensable asset both to Tottenham Hotspur and England.
In the recent Premier League season, Kane scored 25 goals and won the league’s Golden Boot award, before contributing 2 goals in England’s Euro warm-up matches. Although he’s not on the scoresheet in France as of yet, England’s progression into the next stages of Euros will surely rely heavily on Kane’s natural attacking style.
“I constantly imagine different scenarios,” he explains. “Most of the time it doesn’t happen exactly as I anticipate, but I visualise to make sure I am prepared. When a chance comes along, you have to snap it up.”
“I like it when people expect big things of me. As a striker you always want to score goals and I go to the tournament [in France] expecting to score goals,” Kane continues.
The desire of bringing home silverware across the English Channel in a few weeks time is also in the back of the Three Lions minds. Whilst faith for Hodgson men has already been tested these past weeks, Kane still proclaims the entire English squad is hungry for success.
“There is no fear because this is the first tournament for a lot of us. We are not putting too much expectation on ourselves,” Kane clarifies, not dismissing the desire to win, but allowing football to be the focus.
“There are loads of moments in my head that I still want to create. For starters, I want to win trophies,” he affirms. “I’m yet to get a big one and I aspire to do that. Individual awards are nice but I think to lift a cup as a team is the most important thing.”
With thanks to Nike Football.