Pochettino backs complete Kane to lead England's World Cup bid despite lack of goals

By Sports Desk November 30, 2022 667

Harry Kane's lack of goals at the World Cup does not worry his former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who believes the striker's creative prowess can help England go far in Qatar.

Despite England scoring nine times in three Group B fixtures, Kane is yet to net at the tournament, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka instead providing the Three Lions' main goal threat from wide positions.

Kane has, however, recorded three assists at the tournament, becoming the first England player to do so at a single World Cup since David Beckham in 2002.

Asked about Kane's form by Sky Sports, Pochettino highlighted the England captain's creative contribution while also backing him to find his shooting boots in the knockout stages. 

"I think Harry can provide good assists and score goals," Pochettino said. "I would rather Kane scores the decisive goals, rather than in a result where England can beat the opponent by five or six. 

"Harry's focus is great, he's one of the best strikers in the world and I'm sure that he's going to score.

"He's capable of everything. In my second conversation with him, I said 'you could play centre-back, full-back, midfielder… out wide.'

"Goalkeeper? No, once, I remember in a Europa League game [for Spurs against Asteras Tripolis in 2014], he was a disaster in goal and made a mistake. The rest of the positions, yes.

"Harry Kane is a player who is so clever, now he reads the game and knows when the game needs him to drop, or when it needs him to be up front. He's a player that can do everything." 

Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales ensured England topped their World Cup group for the first time since 2006, and Pochettino says no team will relish the prospect of facing the Three Lions.

Asked whether England would fear a potential fixture against holders France or pre-tournament favourites Brazil, he added: "For France, it's no different. 

"Their team can be in trouble if they face England also. England have the quality to be one of the national teams with the possibility to win, I saw a really, really good performance last night. 

"The quality is there. I really believe that, this year, England can fight to try to lift the World Cup."

England will face Senegal for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. The Three Lions are unbeaten in their seven previous meetings with African nations in the competition (W4 D3), beating Cameroon after extra-time in their only previous such game in the knockout stages, in 1990.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 30 November 2022 12:13
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