I believe we can win World Cup... anything else is not good enough, insists captain Kane
Newly-appointed captain Harry Kane believes England can win this summer's World Cup.
And he would love to unite millions in the same way as the weekend’s royal wedding proved such a popular success.
Months of questions and speculation came to an end yesterday morning when the 24-year-old was confirmed as Gareth Southgate’s leader for Russia.
Kane has long been favourite to wear the armband at the World Cup given the Tottenham striker epitomises the brave, bold and fearless mindset the manager is trying to instil.
Despite being part of the Euro 2016 exit to Iceland, failings of the past do not appear to weigh heavy and the Tottenham striker talked up the Three Lions’ chances in his first press conference as captain.
“I think we can, I think we can win it,” Kane said at St George’s Park.
“We know we’re not favourites to win it. But you look at this season, for example, no one would have thought Liverpool would have got to the Champions League final and they did.
“And you look at maybe Man United back in the Ferguson days when they had a young team and dominated the Premier League for years to come. So, it’s not really an excuse that we’re young – it could be a good thing.
“I believe we can win it and that’s what we’ve got to try and do. Anything else is not good enough, really.”
Kane believes he will be fresh this summer thanks to his finely-tuned preparation and post-season break that included a trip to the Bahamas.
It was not all rest, though, as the striker and fiancee Kate got up at 6.30am while overseas to watch Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle on Saturday.
“Just the way the whole nation comes together at one time and supports them is amazing,” Kane said.
“That’s obviously something we hope for in the World Cup.”
Kane spoke with confidence and honesty on his first outing as England captain – having already proven his trustworthiness by keeping his role under wraps in the two months since Southgate told him.
Such early notice gave the 24-year-old plenty of time to dream about lifting the World Cup this summer, when he believes the squad’s youthful exuberance should mean wearing the Three Lions is not a burden.
“For me it’s a strange one,” Kane said.
“Maybe we’re a bit afraid to say we want to win stuff because we’re afraid of the reaction of maybe the media or the fans, so maybe that has made players go into a bit of a shell.
“Whereas what I am trying to say is look, we’re not afraid to say we want to win it because every country wants to win it.
“We have to be brave, we have to take it on the chin. Whether we go out at the group stage or the semi-final it’s the same – you don’t win the World Cup.”
Southgate believes “meticulous professional” Kane is the ideal standard bearer for England, and the striker is relishing the challenge.
“I’m not sensitive at all,” Kane said. “It drives me to be better if anything. It drives me on, it makes me want to prove people wrong, it makes me want to work even harder. If that pressure comes in the World Cup, the only way I’ll deal with it is to work even harder.”