London (AFP) – Harry Kane admits England’s spluttering attack still has plenty of room for improvement ahead of their Euro 2016 opener.
Roy Hodgson’s side wrapped up their preparations for the tournament in France with a 1-0 win over Portugal at Wembley on Thursday and the main talking point of a drab display was the lack of cohesion between England’s three forwards.
Hodgson opted for a diamond formation that saw Wayne Rooney deployed just behind a front two of Kane and Jamie Vardy.
But it was the first time they had all played together and, with England lacking any penetration on the flanks, Tottenham striker Kane and Leicester forward Vardy found themselves forced to drift wide to the right and left respectively.
Kane finished as the Premier League’s top scorer with 25 goals, and Vardy netted 24 times as Leicester won the title, but they rarely had the chance to combine in dangerous areas, with Vardy touching the ball only nine times.
And Kane confessed England would need to spend time fine-tuning the formation before their first match at the Euros against Russia on June 11.
“Of course we would probably want a few more chances and a few more shots on goal, but it’s something we are working on,” Kane said.
“We are still working on stuff. That’s what we have these three friendlies for, to prepare for the tournament.
“Whether it’s tactics or set pieces or anything else. We are learning to see what works and what doesn’t.
“We can use that in the tournament. Of course we will debrief the game after our few days off and see what works best.
“It’s one game. It isn’t just going to happen overnight. We have been asked to play together and we won the game.”
– Perennial problem –
A perennial problem for England is the failure of their supposed star players to replicate their club form on the international stage.
With so little time to prepare before each match and long breaks between internationals, Kane admitted it can be tricky to strike up an instant rapport on the pitch.
“Of course it is always difficult when you come away with England. You haven’t got a lot of time to prepare like you do for your clubs,” he said.
“But we are England internationals. You have to be able to cope with that.
“I don’t think you can judge it from one performance. It’s always difficult when a team goes down to 10 men so early. You have to be patient.
“Portugal just dropped off and made it very difficult for us to get through the middle of the pitch.
“The tempo is probably something we could have done better. We could have been a bit quicker in the final third but it is a learning curve.”
Although England are still a work in progress, Kane is confident the attacking options available to Hodgson, which also include Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford, will make his team a formidable force in France.
“Of course there are things we can work on but we are in a positive way and we take that into the Russia game,” he said.
“It’s great. You want everyone on top of their game, especially strikers, and we’ve got that.
“We’ve got a lot of competition for places, which is good.”
Kane was fortunate to leave Wembley in one piece after being caught on the head by a crazy and potentially dangerous, studs-up, tackle from Portugal’s Bruno Alves.
Alves was sent off for the first half moment of madness, but Kane escaped with only a few marks on his head and shoulder, although he never received an apology from the Portugal star.
“I’ve got a few scratches but obviously I got away with one there. I’m happy I’m still here!” Kane said.
“I’m lucky I didn’t have a few stitches in the head. He didn’t apologise. He was down in the tunnel.”
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family