Kane shrugs off diving claims as he targets more England goals

England's Harry Kane scores (centre) his side's fourth goal of the game and his hat-trick during the Euro 2020 Qualifying Group A match at Wembley Stadium, London.
England's Harry Kane scores (centre) his side's fourth goal of the game and his hat-trick during the Euro 2020 Qualifying Group A match at Wembley Stadium, London.
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England captain Harry Kane insists he pays no attention to people who accuse him of diving and is only focused on scoring goals.

Kane, who bagged a hat-trick in the Three Lions’ 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win against Bulgaria on Saturday, has been in focus after going down in the box in the last two games for Tottenham.

He was brought down by Newcastle defender Jamal Lascelles a fortnight ago but VAR ruled not to award a penalty while the system was not even used after Kane went down under a challenge from Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos in last weekend’s north London derby.

That saw Kane become the topic of debates in the media over whether he was a diver, but the 26-year-old says it is all background noise to him.

“I haven’t heard much of that,” he said of the chat around his perceived diving.

“From my point of view I said after the Newcastle game it was a clear penalty, after the Arsenal one it was a 50-50 one, it was very similar to one they got against us at Wembley the year before.

“It happens in football. I am somebody that uses their body well, which as a striker you have to, at every level.

“On the halfway line it’s a free-kick every day of the week but in the penalty box you don’t always get it.

“People’s opinions are people’s opinions, it is not something I am concentrating on, it is for me doing my best.”

Kane again went down for England at Wembley on Saturday but there was no doubt that it was a foul and the spot-kick – his second of the day – allowed him to complete his hat-trick.

That treble took his tally to 25 goals in an England shirt – ahead of Geoff Hurst’s 24 – and surpassing Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 looks a formality if he can stay fit.

“It a great milestone to reach, something I am very proud of, but as you know I am always looking for the next one, the next set of goals,” he added.

“See how quick I can get to 30 and go from there. There is another game on Tuesday where I feel we can create chances so hopefully I can get a couple more.

“For me it is always about improving and getting better so if I get to that tally and I am still young enough to carry on playing it will be about progression and scoring more.

“If in a few years’ down the line I am getting close then great.”

Kane’s Tottenham team-mate Danny Rose lauds the striker as the best professional he has worked with and has urged people to focus on the goals he scores rather than anything else.

“I have not seen the press about Harry diving but he is not one to pay attention to that stuff and people should focus on his goal record and what he offers to any team across the world and we should relish watching him,” the left-back said.

“I don’t want to put pressure on Harry but when he is in the team, you are guaranteed goals and a leader who will give everything. It is a privilege to be with him.

“Harry is mentally very strong. He is strong willed, for sure he will never pay attention to anything negative said about him and in the same way he will never get carried away with the plaudits.

“He is literally the ultimate professional, the best professional I have ever trained with or played with and his record for club and country is no coincidence.

“You saw the standard of his penalties today – that is what he works on every day. It is typical Harry just to respond in the way that he did by scoring a hat-trick.”

Rose has vowed to have his say on his turbulent summer with Tottenham, but insists he has nothing to prove.

The left-back was made available for transfer and left off the club’s pre-season tour to Asia as his time with Spurs looked to be over.

Yet, unable to secure a move away, he has since started all four of Tottenham’s Premier League games this season and also handed an England start against Bulgaria.

Rose, who is not afraid to be outspoken, is so far keeping his powder dry and says he is happy at how things have played out.

“It wasn’t tough, it is what it is,” he said. “Not everything that was publicised in the summer was entirely true and I think in the future I will have my say on everything that happened but I don’t want to focus on negativity at the minute.

“I guess I should be happy with maybe being up for sale and having started the first four games for Tottenham and the first England game of the campaign.

“I can’t lie I am very happy, but I just want to say that everything that was written in the summer wasn’t entirely true.”

Pochettino has been open to selling Rose for the last three transfer windows, but he has always remained the Argentinian’s first-choice left-back.

Despite his precarious position at Spurs, Rose takes comfort in the faith his manager has in him.

“I don’t need to prove myself to anybody,” he said.

“I have a manager at club level who knows me.

“You look at last season, I played in the quarter-final of the Champions League, I played semi-finals of the Champions League, I played in the final.

“So I’ve got a manager there who believes in me.”