Harry Kane believes England are a better team than the one that lost to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final, as the two countries prepare to do battle again at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. Kane admitted he was close to tears after the 2-1 defeat in Moscow in July, but insisted England were determined to consign that game to history and qualify for the final stages of the Nations League.
Only a win will see England into the last four, to take place in Portugal or Italy next June, and Kane said the squad had collectively learned their lessons from their World Cup heartbreak. “I would say so,” he replied when asked whether England were a superior side now. “We’ve learnt a lot from those experiences and learned a lot from beating Spain. We said after the summer the most important thing was not to fall off and get to the Euros without any momentum.
“It’s a massive game. No-one knows how big this competition will be in the future, but it’s a great opportunity for us to reach a semi-final. International football can mean it takes another two years before a crowd is excited again and fully into it, so it’s a chance for us to get to another big game next June.”
Kane admitted that England’s World Cup exit was “a mixed bag of emotions”, tempered only by a sense of responsibility to his beaten comrades. “Of course I was devastated when we went out,” he said. “But I didn’t want to go down in tears. I wanted to stay strong and be there for my team-mates, being one of the leaders in the team. No tears then, and hopefully none any time soon.”
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