HARRY KANE came out swinging after criticism of his Euros form and insisted: I’m here because I’m good enough and I know it.
Striker Kane’s England displays have come under intense scrutiny even though he notched his first goal of the tournament in Tuesday’s storico 2-0 last-16 win over Germany.
And boss Gareth Southgate has tipped his captain to follow Alan Shearer’s example at Euro 96 by now bursting into life.
Kane, 27, disse: “I’m playing on the pitch for a reason so, ovviamente, people from the outside, fan, pundits, the media are going to have their opinion.
“But I’m here, I’m doing it, I’m the one that trusts my ability 100 per cent — and I’ve worked hard to get to this point.
“I’ve not just been thrown on to that pitch for any old reason. I’ve worked hard my whole life, dedicated my whole life to be there. So when I’m out there I’m pretty focused, especially as a striker.
“When maybe you’re not scoring, or the chances aren’t coming your way, just be ready for the next one — and that’s what has happened.”
Kane also defended his all-round performances after ex-England stars Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher claimed he had not done enough for the team over the four games so far.
The Spurs star said: “I’m the captain of the team so I try to lead by example, not just with the ball but without the ball, whether it’s talking and helping guys out.”
Kane also revealed he gives a team-talk “from the heart” to the players before each game.
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And he added: “It’s about doing so much more than just being a goalscorer. I have a responsibility for the team.
“I’ve so much that I’m trying to do. The noise, it’s just noise. I’m focused on a lot of other stuff.”
Southgate is relieved Kane goes into Saturday’s quarter-final with Ukraine in Rome with his first Euros goal in the bag.
Three Lions striker Shearer arrived at Euro 96 without scoring for nearly two years but won the Golden Boot after netting five times.
And Southgate said: “Tuesday will have been a perfect day for Harry.
“He wants the team to win more than anything else but for the team to win and him to score, without a doubt that put a big smile on his face.
“I played with Alan in 96 and there was a big change in him once he got that goal.
“I remember being in China before the tournament and it was another game without a goal and you could sense how it was for him.
“So the goal for Harry will be a big release for him. Harry and Raheem Sterling, their goalscoring record has been immense and so important.
“We cannot just expect Harry to be the one to deliver so Raheem has weighed in at a crucial moment and is looking electric.
“But if we can get Harry scoring as well, that is great for us.”
Kane says now is the time to banish the highs of Inghilterra’s first knockout win over Germany since 1966 because the challenge now is as much in the mind as it is on the pitch against Ukraine.
Egli ha detto: “This is more about the mental aspect, getting down off that high and coming back down to Earth.
“It’ll be a tough game in a different stadium, which is something we’ve not done yet in this tournament. It’s important we focus on that.
“We have a vision of where we want to be and it’s not just winning one-off knockout games. It’s about going all the way and we are going to need everyone in the squad.
“We’ve seen already with people who have come in and managed to take their chance.”
Kane admits his late header against Germany di fronte a 45,000 fan filled him with “elation and joy”.
Ha aggiunto: “Seeing Wembley like it was and being part of the celebrations was just amazing.
“Those moments stick with you forever. My wife, mamma, papà, brother were all there.
“To have them there when we have that huge high made it even more special — and hopefully we can have a few more occasions like that.
“Seeing the fans falling over and Wembley rocking, singing Sweet Caroline, it just gives you goosebumps.
“We don’t want to stop here, anche se. We want to give the country as much joy as possible and that starts again on Saturday.
Ukraine’s greatest strength is their team unity. We need to be ready for that.
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“We won’t have that same fans’ energy inside the Rome stadium, but we’ve kind of got used to playing at club level with no fans.
“Ukraine had a huge high, scoring in the last minute of extra-time in their last-16 win over Sweden, so I’m sure they’ll be buzzing.
“Their greatest strength is their team unity. We need to be ready for that.
“If we play to our highest abilities and mentality, we should have enough to win.”
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