Kane reaches out to England duo ‘in a lonely place’
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England captain Harry Kane has been in contact with Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood to make sure the youngsters do not feel alone amid a torrent of criticism for their bio-bubble breach.
The coronavirus pandemic already made this the most challenging international camp of Gareth Southgate’s reign, but things got even harder as the Three Lions boss had to send the duo home just days after their senior debuts.
Foden and Greenwood were banished from the group on Monday after it emerged that they had met up with some girls in Iceland, with Southgate saying he would have pulled them from the squad regardless of safety measures.
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The England manager said “trust needs to be rebuilt” after an incident that overshadowed Tuesday’s 0-0 Nations League draw in Denmark, with Kane confident the pair will learn quickly from this bruising experience.
“The two lads have made a mistake and they know that, and they’ll definitely learn from that,” the Tottenham striker said.
“It’s a lesson learned for any young player or any player that comes up to the England team that there’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of people are watching. All they can do is learn from it.
“It’s a situation that the boys have made but, at the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes in life.
“It’s not something I can control or the other players can control.
“It’s a decision that has been made and I’m sure the boys would love to take it back if they could but that’s not the case.
“I’m a strong believer in life that you just have to learn from negativity and that’s what they’ll do.
“The boys have to get on with it. We had another game to play and prepare for so that’s why I think we can be proud of our performance.”
The Football Association has launched a full investigation into an incident that led to a public rebuke their clubs. Manchester City’s Foden and Manchester United’s Greenwood made public as well as private apologies, with Kane and some England team-mates contacting the duo to make sure they know they are not alone.
“I have text them both,” the Three Lions skipper added. “I think it is important to hear a voice.
“They could have been in a lonely place. It’s not easy, taking criticism, especially when you are in the media’s eye and the fans’ eye.
“It wasn’t a situation where I wanted them to feel alone and I know a couple of the other boys have text them as well to just make sure they’re doing OK.
“They know they’ve made a mistake, but they will learn from it. They are young boys coming into a big world. I know for sure it won’t happen again.”
The controversy book-ended a difficult few weeks for England, with Southgate withdrawing Harry Maguire from the squad at the start of a fortnight that ended without a goal from open play.
Three days on from an underwhelming 1-0 win in Iceland, the Three Lions put in a drab, lifeless performance in Denmark as the switch to a three-man defence failed to deliver.
“I think we’re at a stage of the season coming up to a big Euros and we wanted to try something new,” Kane said.
“To be honest, I thought we played quite well.
“We had a good spell in the first half where we created a few chances and we could have nicked it at the end. I think people would have been talking different.”
Asked about criticism of Southgate’s tactics, Kane replied: “I think as England manager, you’re always going to come under certain scrutiny at times but, look, we’re a strong group, we know what we’re aiming towards.
“Obviously we’re still in a great position in the Nations League and the Euros is the main objective coming up. “We’ve just got to stick to ourselves. People are going to talk but I think if we can keep a strong head and strong discipline on what we want to achieve then we can go and do that.”
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