London (AFP) – England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has backed his captain Harry Kane’s “undeniable quality” to shine through at Euro 2020 despite a sluggish start to the tournament.
Kane has not scored and had just one shot on target in three games so far ahead of Tuesday’s huge last-16 clash with Germany.
Everton’s Calvert-Lewin has been given only one minute on the field despite Kane’s struggles, but insisted he is happy to play a supporting role.
“You know he’s got undeniable quality and I think he leads the line, he’s the captain, so he’s probably the first person people look at to kind of criticise,” said Calvert-Lewin on Saturday.
“He’s done it consistently for a few seasons now so I’ve got no doubt that he’ll perform on the big stage.”
England have not conceded a goal, but their two goals scored was the lowest by a side to ever top a group at the European Championship.
“I think from a creative perspective there’s a lot more to come from us,” added Calvert-Lewin, who was part of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning side in 2017.
“I think first and foremost in tournament football it’s important that you don’t concede goals because more often than not the margins are quite small so I think that keeping a clean sheet is very important.”
Kane won the Golden Boot as England finished fourth at the World Cup three years ago.
But five of his six goals game in the first two games in Russia as he faded in the latter stages.
Despite looking jaded in the group stage, the Tottenham striker believes he is in much better shape for the knockout phase than at the World Cup.
“Going into Tuesday night, physically, I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far, and that’s what I kind of wanted going into this,” Kane said on Friday.
“I felt maybe in Russia I started on fire, scored loads of goals, then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the most important games, the quarters and the semi-finals.
“So coming into this, physically, I wanted to make sure I was peaking at the right time.”
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