Harry Kane insists there is no need to panic about England’s Euro 2016 chances despite their defeat to Spain.
After winning all 10 of their qualifiers, England were being tipped as dark horses for the tournament, but they were given a reality check by holders Spain in Alicante last Friday.
England held their own in the first half of the friendly, but could not cope with Spain’s dominance after the break and ended up losing 2-0 thanks to goals from Mario Gaspar and Santi Cazorla.
Kane does not think the result reflects badly on England, however.
“People need to stay patient,” the Tottenham striker said.
“We’re not going to win every game. We’re playing these teams for a reason, to get experience.
“We’ve got to stay confident. We know what we want to do and what we want to achieve.
“We’ve got another tough test against France (on Tuesday), which we want to win.
“We’ve got to keep doing things right, don’t panic and go from there.”
In fairness to England, they did create chances against the European champions. Ryan Bertrand and Raheem Sterling impressed down the left and Kane went close with a venomous drive which flew a foot wide of Iker Casillas’s goal.
Sheffield-born Gary Cahill does not believe England were outclassed on the Costa Blanca.
“We knew it was going to be tough, we knew the ability they had and I thought the result flattered them, even though they had a lot of the ball,” said the England vice-captain.
“For 70 minutes, I thought we were well in the game but goals change games, it was a special goal and it opened it up.”
Cahill insists England will be up for the friendly against France at Wembley tomorrow despite the defeat to the Spanish.
“There’s no reason for any confidence to drain out,” said the Chelsea defender.
“The manager is going to change the team over the games, get players game time so there’s that element to it.
“But there’s no reason whatsoever why we should be low on confidence after one game. We’ve had a great run and that was our first defeat.
“If we had won the two games then we’d be told we can go on and win the Euros. If we lost them both then it would be the other way.”
Cahill is looking forward to the return of Wayne Rooney, who will lead the team out at Wembley after starting from the bench in Spain.
Cahill said: “He’s a leader, he’s captain and a top player so he represents what we’re all about as a country.
“We’re aiming to go as far as we can (in the Euros). We’ve had a good qualifying campaign, going to get some good tests in these friendlies and of course we’re a better team with Wayne Rooney in it.”
Bertrand has gone from outsider to England regular in a matter of months, but the Southampton left-back is not taking his place at Euro 2016 for granted.
The 26-year-old made a permanent move to St Mary’s earlier in the year after impressing on loan from Chelsea, earning plaudits aplenty but not at first international recognition.
Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs, Luke Shaw and Danny Rose were all ahead of Bertrand in the pecking order, only for injuries to see him make a long-awaited international return off the bench in the 1-1 draw in Italy in March.
It was the Saints full-back’s first cap for nearly three years and has since been followed up by starts against the Republic of Ireland, Estonia and Spain, with injuries to Shaw and Baines allowing him to nail down his spot in the squad.
Put to him that this looks a good opportunity to secure a place in the Euro 2016 squad, Bertrand said: “Possibly. I just want to continue and concentrate on each game, each friendly game.
“We’ve got big tests coming again on Tuesday (against France) and again with the following friendlies coming up. It is important that we keep consistent as a team, in my performances too.
“Obviously certain things have happened and you can’t take anything for granted, really.
“You need to still work, nothing is a given.”
Bertrand is thankful to Southampton for giving him the chance to shine – “I just needed a foundation of consistent football” – and now hopes to win his seventh cap tomorrow.