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Gareth Southgate pledges not to run Harry Kane into the ground for England


Gareth Southgate pledges not to run Harry Kane into the ground despite England captain’s hopes of playing against San Marino, Albania and Poland to chase goal-scoring record

  • Harry Kane is hot on the tail of Wayne Rooney’s international scoring record 
  • Kane wants to play all of England’s forthcoming World Cup qualifying clashes 
  • Gareth Southgate told Kane he will not be playing entirety of England’s matches

Gareth Southgate has told Harry Kane he will not risk his fitness despite the captain’s desire to play a full part in England’s World Cup qualifiers.

As Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday, Kane wants to play all of England’s forthcoming clashes against San Marino, Albania and Poland as he chases down Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record. Kane has 32 goals to Rooney’s 53.

But as we reported, Southgate — who is giving serious consideration to reverting to a back four against San Marino on Thursday night — is not prepared to gamble with his star striker’s body and told Kane he will not be playing the entirety of England’s matches over the next week.

Gareth Southgate has told Harry Kane he will not risk his fitness even if he's desperate to play

Gareth Southgate has told Harry Kane he will not risk his fitness even if he’s desperate to play

‘If I allowed Harry to make every decision he would play every minute,’ said Southgate. 

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‘That won’t be happening. It is brilliant we have a captain who wants to play every minute of every game but we have got to be mindful he had extra time last Thursday and another high intensity game on Sunday. We have got to make sure we manage the fixtures correctly.’

The news will delight Kane’s club manager Jose Mourinho, who was concerned that the Spurs striker would be overplayed during the international break.

On the issue of satisfying club bosses, Southgate added: ‘I think in fairness all the club managers respect the fact that we’ve got to get results and win our matches and uppermost in our mind is how do we make sure the team are as fresh for Albania and Poland as they are for Friday night.

The news will delight Jose Mourinho, who was concerned Spurs striker would be overplayed

The news will delight Jose Mourinho, who was concerned Spurs striker would be overplayed

‘You can’t just think about one game, you’ve got to think about all three and plan accordingly.’

Southgate is set to deploy a 4-3-3 system against the lowest ranked team in the world, a move that is a significant shift away from the 3-4-3 formation he has used for most of his reign.

However, Southgate has spoken publicly about his team’s need to be flexible and he could revert back to three at the back for next week’s clash against Poland — the toughest of England’s three games this month.

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Recalled World Cup 2018 heroes Jesse Lingard and John Stones are both pushing for starts in Thursday’s Wembley showdown. 

Kane has 32 goals and is chasing down Wayne Rooney’s all-time leading total of 53

Kane has 32 goals and is chasing down Wayne Rooney’s all-time leading total of 53

West Ham forward Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, hasn’t played for England since June 2019 but is set to play in a new-look attack, which is likely to include Everton centre forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Manchester City centre back Stones, who hasn’t played for Southgate since November 2019, is expected to partner Wolves defender Conor Coady in the heart of defence.

In the absence of the injured Jordan Pickford, Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is in line to get the nod ahead of Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, and Chelsea’s Mason Mount will earn his 14th cap.

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