England vs Lithuania: Harry Kane has in no way 'damaged his chances of playing' this week, reveals Roy Hodgson

The Tottenham striker looks set to make his senior debut at Wembley on Friday

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England manager Roy Hodgson has backed man-of-the-moment Harry Kane to succeed in international football - but stopped short of revealing whether he would make his debut against Lithuania.

Kane has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Tottenham this season and his scintillating form was rewarded with a first ever call-up to the England senior squad for Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley and Tuesday's friendly against Italy in Turin.

Hodgson remained tight-lipped about Kane's involvement in the two matches at Thursday's press conference, but suggested that he has done enough in training to be involved in some capacity.

"We're very happy with Harry this week, he's done well," Hodgson said. "The only thing I can certainly say is he's not in any way damaged his chances of playing in the full senior team.

"I'm pretty sure, over the course of the next two games, we're going to see him make his full debut.

"People have to wait and see when that is. Whether it's from the start tomorrow or on Tuesday or coming on as a substitute - people will have to wait and see."

Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney, who needs just three more goals to equal Sir Bobby Charlton's 49-goal all-time England scoring record, is also convinced that Kane has what it takes to succeed on the world stage.

"I think the season he's had has been incredible," the Manchester United forward said.

"His first year in the Premier League, the goals he's scored and his performances have been excellent so I think he fully deserved his call-up to the squad.

"We've seen over the last couple of days that if he gets the chance, he's a goalscorer and he can finish.

"He's been excellent all season and I think it's great for English football to have someone who's scoring goals the way he is."

England are sitting pretty at the top of Group E with four wins from as many matches and will be looking to extend their 100 per cent record against Lithuania.

Hodgson was dealt a blow on Wednesday night when Tottenham left-back Danny Rose became the fifth withdrawal from his squad, but he is confident he has enough quality at his disposal to secure win number five on Friday.

"Everyone knows at the start of the week we suffered a few setbacks but luckily the squad is big enough to cope with that and everyone is raring to go," he said.

Hodgson confessed to being no expert on Friday's opponents but remains confident his England players are ready to cause them plenty of problems by carrying out their own game plan.

He said: "I hope we know enough and most importantly our players are prepared to do what we want to do and play the game we want to play and hope that will cause Lithuania the problems that we intend to cause them."

FA chairman Greg Dyke revealed recently he will discuss a new contract with Hodgson in the next nine to 12 months, but the England boss merely wants to concentrate on qualifying for Euro 2016 and will worry about his future afterwards.

"At the moment we have an important task ahead of us. It's all very well to talk about what England will do in France (at Euro 2016) but we aren't there," Hodgson said.

"We've got six qualifiers still to play, we've got six matches still to win. That's a big enough task, a big enough challenge and I'm perfectly happy with that.

"Really what I've said all along is exactly what Greg has said, so we're all singing off the same hymn sheet there."

Rooney, like Everton defender Phil Jagielka earlier in the week, waxed lyrical about his national team boss and wants Hodgson to stay on in the post after next summer's European championships.

"Obviously that's down to the FA and down to Roy, but since I've worked with Roy as manager he's been fantastic for me and great for the team," Rooney said.

"Hopefully they will sit down and sort something out and we'll have a few more years with him."

PA

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