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Gary Neville blames rest of England squad for Harry Kane troubles

Neville blames rest of England squad for Kane troubles
© Reuters
Former England full-back Gary Neville criticises the rest of the England squad for Harry Kane's underwhelming performances at Euro 2020 so far.

Former England full-back Gary Neville has blamed the rest of the England squad for the misfiring captain Harry Kane at Euro 2020.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker has been substituted by Gareth Southgate in both of England's fixtures in Group D so far, and is yet to find the back of the net in this summer's tournament.

Despite his underwhelming performances against Croatia and Scotland, Southgate has backed Kane and confirmed that the 27-year-old will start against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Neville was critical of the other members in the England squad: "I said last week I felt he was undroppable and I still maintain that.

"I think that if Harry Kane had someone behind him who was even close to him that could go into the team, then you'd say maybe you could look at a change. But you wouldn't change Kane quickly, or easily for that matter.

"I think he'll break all England's records. You don't just drop your captain and your main goalscorer after two matches. But I think the energy, urgency and intensity in England's performance has got to improve for Kane to do well in this tournament.

"In the first game, we felt that was a controlled performance and everyone was really happy with that. But against Scotland, it was a massive drop off. I don't care who you are - as a centre-forward, you would have struggled in that game."

Neville reflected on England's disappointing draw against Scotland and added: "The only thing that concerns me now is the physical levels, and I'm not sure why that occurred.

"It's one of two things: one, the players are very tired, and if they are then we've got a real problem. Or two, they were a little immature and mentally built the game up so much that they drained themselves.

"My concern was that it wasn't just the Harry Kane thing - the rest of them lacked sharpness. Even when Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford came on, the performance didn't change.

"For me, going into the Czech Republic game - understanding that I have played with England teams in tournaments that looked fatigued - that is the only thing that I'm looking at in the first five, 10 minutes. Is the sharpness back, and was it just a mental thing going into that Scotland game?"

England need to beat the Czech Republic on Tuesday to finish as winners of Group D, as they currently sit second behind their final opponents on goal difference.

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· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
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