England captain full of praise for Southgate’s impact on squad
PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 June 2018
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The Spurs forward discussed the key quality instilled in the group since the Three Lions boss took charge of the team
England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday night may have been nervy, but the most important aspect of the match was the result and the victory ensured the brave new world under boss Gareth Southgate can continue full steam ahead.
Captain Harry Kane praised the resilience the Three Lions manager has instilled in the group since he took over officially on November 30 2016.
Southgate had been in temporary charge from September 27 after Sam Allardyce had resigned and while he has yet to be properly tested, so far he has passed most of the tests which have come his way with flying colours.
Kane has played his part too, and without his stoppage-time winner on Monday, the feel-good factor around the camp may have disappeared.
As it is, the late goal has ensured the growing positivity surrounding this new, open England squad can continue and the support back home is building as a result.
Speaking to BBC One after the Tunisia win, Kane said: “We have shown resilience for a while now since the gaffer come in.
“He has instilled that into us and we have spoken a lot about togetherness. We have a great bond off the pitch, so it is nice to see it working in the first game and on the pitch and everyone, staff included, are pleased, so we’ll go away from this happy.”
Southgate has only lost two games since he was appointed – away to Germany on March 22 2017 and in France three months later.
The Three Lions have recorded respectable draws with Brazil, Italy and Germany since and won in the Netherlands, but this tournament is the real test.
England came through their first huddle and will expect to do the same on Sunday when they take on minnows Panama.
What would help their cause is if Video Assistant Referee (VAR) favoured them at the weekend after it deserted them on Monday.
Kane could have won England at least two penalties from corners, but referee Wilmar Roldan failed to notice the incidents.
VAR couldn’t help out either while at the other end Kyle Walker was penalised for catching Fakhreddine Ben Youssef in the area with his arm, which allowed Ferjani Sassi to score from 12-yards.
“I think there could have been a couple of penalties for us, especially when you look at their one,” said Kane.
“We were having so much joy from corners, they were trying to grab hold of us to stop us running, so maybe that was a bit of justice at the end to get a goal at the back post.
“That’s football and it is down to the referee and it shows good character to get on with it and that’s what we done.”