Harry Kane felt discomfort in injured foot against USA, reveals Southgate

  • England manager says playing captain was no gamble or risk
  • Kane experienced ‘tiny bit of discomfort when striking the ball’

Gareth Southgate has admitted that Harry Kane felt some discomfort in his right foot during England’s 0-0 draw against the USA, although the head coach has stressed he did not gamble on his captain’s fitness by starting him.

Kane has a long history of ankle problems and he faced an anxious wait after being caught by a bad foul by Morteza Pouraliganji during England’s 6-2 win over Iran last Monday. The striker was given the all clear after going for a scan and took part in full training before starting on Friday night.

It was a World Cup like no other. For the last 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered on our dedicated Qatar: Beyond the Football home page for those who want to go deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.

Guardian reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

However, the 29-year-old forward was unable to make an impact during a tepid stalemate at the Al Bayt Stadium. Kane missed two good chances and Southgate acknowledged that the Tottenham forward experienced some pain when he struck the ball, which was perhaps evident when he failed to take an early opportunity from close range.

“No gamble at all,” Southgate said when asked if it was a risk to play Kane. “He has had a whack to his foot, so there is a tiny bit of discomfort when he is striking the ball but we are not talking about anything that was a risk in any way, shape or form.”

The draw with the USA means Southgate is unlikely to rest Kane against Wales on Tuesday. England will qualify for the last 16 as long as they avoid a heavy defeat by Wales, but they are yet to seal top spot in Group B. Kane will also be desperate to play after failing to score in his first two matches in Qatar.

In an ideal world Southgate would have been able to rest several players against Wales. Competition for Kane’s place comes from Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford, who played on the right after coming off the bench for Bukayo Saka against the USA, while England need to build the match fitness of Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker. Phillips and Walker have recently returned from injury, but it would be a risk to start them against Wales.

Having named the same starting 11 against Iran and the USA, Southgate will look to freshen his side up in their final group game. “We have got to see where the energy levels are and the best way to approach the game,” Southgate said. “We are in a strong position but we want to win the group. We have still got a bit to do to make sure we qualify.”

Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Rashford will be in contention to start in attack and Jordan Henderson could come into midfield. Henderson, who did an individual indoor session at training on Saturday, impressed after replacing Jude Bellingham, who struggled against the USA.

“We cannot roll Jude for 90 minutes every game,” Southgate said. “We have got to look after him and Hendo has been training really well. Tactically, it was a complicated game in midfield. Jordan’s organisation and intelligence and experience was something we felt that could help us.”

England have been boosted by James Maddison returning to training. The Leicester midfielder has been out with a knee injury and should be on the bench against Wales.

“James hasn’t really trained with the group, so I don’t think he’s likely to be in a position to start but he is more positive and hopefully he will be an option for us,” Southgate said. “We have got to consider whether refreshing certain positions is going to be as important. We have got a good squad and these games are taking a lot out of people.”


Jacob Steinberg in Doha

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Southgate happy England’s support attackers taking pressure off Harry Kane
Gareth Southgate has welcomed the spread of goalscorers for England in the World Cup so far, with Harry Kane yet to score but with three assists

David Hytner in Doha

30, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Harry Kane convinced World Cup goals will flow after late Euros burst
The England striker’s mindset is shaped by his previous tournament experiences and he has eyes only for the next opportunity

David Hytner in Doha

03, Dec, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Harry Kane underlines England captaincy credentials against Scotland | Dominic Fifield
Gareth Southgate’s search for a permanent England captain may be over after Harry Kane’s pedigree shone through in denying Scotland victory

Dominic Fifield at Hampden Park

10, Jun, 2017 @9:57 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate stands by Harry Kane after night to forget against Hungary
Harry Kane, who had scored in 15 consecutive qualifiers, was taken off after 76 minutes against Hungary and Gareth Southgate said: ‘I don’t think singling out players is fair’

Jacob Steinberg at Wembley

12, Oct, 2021 @10:17 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate relishes England’s ‘biggest test’ against France
Gareth Southgate relishes England’s ‘biggest test’ against France in quarter-finals but is wary of ‘world class’ Kylian Mbappé

Jacob Steinberg at Al Bayt Stadium

04, Dec, 2022 @11:02 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate will wait before making decision on England future
Gareth Southgate said he would take time before making a decision on his England future after his side were beaten by France in the World Cup quarter-final

Jacob Steinberg at Al Bayt Stadium

10, Dec, 2022 @11:36 PM

Article image
England’s Southgate has no qualms using Saka and Rashford in shootouts
Gareth Southgate has backed both Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford if needed for penalty shootout duties against Senegal on Sunday

Jacob Steinberg in Doha

03, Dec, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane’s Bayern move is boost for England
Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane’s move to Bayern Munich will benefit England and stop the striker being distracted during Euro 2024

Jacob Steinberg

02, Sep, 2023 @9:30 PM

Article image
Serene Southgate is not one for turning amid sea of English negativity | David Hytner
The England manager remains impressively unruffled as he blocks out the criticism that followed the tepid draw with the USA

David Hytner in Doha

26, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Marcus Rashford revitalised to offer England hope of another World Cup run
England eased into the last 16 of the World Cup after a 3-0 victory against Wales, with two goals from Marcus Rashford

Sean Ingle at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

29, Nov, 2022 @11:09 PM