Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will manage Harry Kane’s playing time in the March World Cup triple header.
The 27-year-old captain is on track to break Wayne Rooney’s record 53 goals for England, having scored 32 times in 51 appearances.
But Kane has not scored for his country since the November 2019 victory in Kosovo and would see Wembley’s clash on Thursday with San Marino, the lowest-ranked team in the world, as a great opportunity to add to his tally .
This match would, however, also be a great time to rest skipper, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, last week, saying he hoped the striker could come to a ‘compromise’ with Southgate on playing time. .
“If I allowed Harry to make that decision, he would play every minute,” Southgate said on Wednesday. “It will not happen.
“But look, it’s great to have a captain who wants to play every minute of every game.
“We have to be aware that he had extra time last Thursday and another high intensity game last Sunday, so we have situations with a lot of players, really, and we have to make sure we handle the game well.
“We did it in training this week as well and we have to be just as fresh with the matches against Albania and Poland as tomorrow.
“So it’s not an unusual challenge for us as a coaching team and as a medical team and our physical performance team.
“But we still communicate well with the players and I think we are in a good position for tomorrow’s game.”
Kane’s six-game scoreless streak is no one with Southgate, who believes fitness issues and decisions on the pitch have gone against his skipper earlier in the season.
“First, it’s in a good position,” Southgate added.
“He’s always looking at the next challenge. He carries the result, he feels responsible for the results whether it’s with us or his club. He’s always someone who sees what is possible for his team.”
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“The games for him in the fall were unique. In August he scored and was wrongly banned in the first 10 minutes of the first game, if that happens you know the whole fall can be very different, but he was in the middle of preseason in this period, so still in the process of leveling up physically.
“Again in October we couldn’t put him in the first game because he came in with a little injury problem and then we were down to 10 men within half an hour of the second.
“I’m certainly not worried about Harry in terms of a goal. He’s the Premier League’s top scorer and the assists I think is a remarkable statistic which, really
“We are very happy with his situation. Obviously we have to be sensible in what we do, he played in overtime on Thursday and then played again on Sunday.”