England 4 Lithuania 0: Roy Hodgson backs Harry Kane to handle pressure after 'fairy tale' start

Kane scored just 79 seconds after coming on

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson backed Harry Kane to handle the pressure after a debut he described as a “fairy-tale come true”.

Kane scored just one minute into his England debut, with only his third touch, the latest moment of a remarkable year. He said it was “best moment of my career” afterwards and Hodgson agreed that it almost felt unbelievable.

“It is a bit of a fairy tale,” Hodgson said afterwards, “but it’s nice when fairy tales come true, and it’s come true for Harry.”

Kane’s header was his 30 goal of the season, which is likely to see him win young player of the year and quite possibly footballer of the year as well. Kane will make his full England debut against Italy in Turin on Tuesday night but Hodgson was confident that he will be able to handle everything thrown at him, even as he continues to develop.

“I think he'll put pressure on himself because he's a good professional,” Hodgson said afterwards. “I don't think he's a person who'll buckle under pressure, but he'll have to accept the media spotlight, which is already enormous, will get bigger.”

Kane, still just 21, has shown few signs of letting his fame get to him and Hodgson is sure he will handle the expectation in the right way, and grow as England push towards Euro 2016 and beyond.

“He is in good hands with Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and us here,” Hodgson said. “We'll make sure we don't built him up to knock him down, but build him up to be a big part of our future.”

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