Kane’s Warning: Defeat to Iceland Should Be Wake-Up Call for Euro 2024

Kane’s Warning: Defeat to Iceland Should Be Wake-Up Call for Euro 2024

Harry Kane says England need to wake up and realise they won’t have it their own way at the European Championship, remembering the ‘pretty s***’ ending at their last major tournament.

It was in Qatar at the World Cup two years ago that Kane blazed a penalty over the crossbar as England trailed 2-1 to France late in their quarter-final. That was enough to send them home but they will land in Germany on Monday as favourites to win the Euros.

Optimism was tempered on Friday night during a poor 1-0 defeat by Iceland at Wembley – after which there were boos among home fans – but Kane believes that could yet prove a good thing, especially as their opponent’s game-plan will likely reflect that of group rivals Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.

‘This could be a nice wake-up call for everyone to realise it is not going to be as easy as people think,’ said the England captain.

‘There is a lot of work to do. Sometimes, you need this wake-up call. There are areas we need to improve, especially with our pressure. The group games are going to be very similar to this. We are going to have to defend well, especially the longer balls, and with the ball we need to be a bit more patient. It is one to look back on.’

Harry Kane has insisted England won’t have everything their own way at Euro 2024

Kane is eager to avoid a repeat of the 2022 World Cup, when he missed a penalty v France

Kane is eager to avoid a repeat of the 2022 World Cup, when he missed a penalty v France

The Bayern Munich star did not pull any punches, as he went on: ‘We fell below our standards without the ball and that is something we have to review and get better with.

‘We had spells where we did well and played some really nice football and created some good chances. But against these types of teams especially, you have to be more clinical.

‘There probably wasn’t enough hunger in the duels, in the second balls and winning those. They are a big important part when you are playing these teams, to sustain the pressure and really suffocate them. We didn’t do that well.’

Kane insists that belief in the group remains stronger than ever and says his own personal torment in Qatar is now firmly behind him.

‘Pretty s***, wasn’t it?’ he said of the penalty miss and loss to France. ‘In football you are going to have ups and downs on the way. Of course, that was a down for me at the moment, but I think over two years, for club and for country, I have put that to bed and I am just excited for another major tournament.’

Gareth Southgate's side lost 1-0 to Iceland but Kane believes that it can be a wake-up call

Gareth Southgate’s side lost 1-0 to Iceland but Kane believes that it can be a wake-up call

Kane says there is a real hunger in the England squad after reaching the final of Euro 2020

Kane says there is a real hunger in the England squad after reaching the final of Euro 2020

He added: ‘I have said many times to judge us on the tournament form, on the tournament football. Of course, there will be some noise about Friday, but I think there is a lot of optimism from the fans and rightly so. Ultimately it is down to us to make sure we get it right on the pitch. We have a lot of fantastic players. Players who have had really, really good seasons. You can’t ignore that.

‘Being so close in the last Euros (beaten in final), there is a real hunger to be back. It comes around quick, if I’m honest. We had the World Cup and we are back here again. I feel like we are on the right path.

‘But as we all know, it is really difficult to win these tournaments. There are a lot of things that you have to do right and prepare right, and you need a bit of luck here and there. Every winner does. We have that mindset that we can achieve it. We also know there is a lot of hard work from now until the final in July.’

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