Gareth Southgate believes “immense pressure” has been lifted from Harry Kane’s shoulders and the England captain is ready for lift off in the Euros.
Kane ended his personal goal drought by scoring against Germany after struggling for form and confidence as he failed to hit the target in England’s three Group matches.
Tottenham striker Kane, 27, has been a huge concern because he was the Golden Boot winner in the last World Cup and there was huge expectation on his shoulders.
But Southgate believes Kane can now relax after ending that run and he says the goal against Germany would have been “perfect” to help him get back in the groove.
England boss Southgate said: “I think the life of a centre forward is a lot of pressure. There is a huge expectation and although at times it would feel from the outside it is a glamorous position to be in and they certainly get paid well.
“But it comes with immense pressure and expectation and I think it is important as a manager to understand that and have empathy with that.
“Not only is there the public expectation but there is an inherent desire and drive that centre forwards have that if you win the game they don’t score and they are irritated. They cannot help that.
“That is the mindset of the top players. So this will have been a perfect day for him. He wants the team to win more than anything else but for the team to win and him to score, without a double that will put a big smile on his face.”
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Southgate’s former England team mate Alan Shearer had a similar barren run before Euro 96 but ended up as top scorer in that tournament.
Ex-England international Southgate says Shearer was transformed when he scored back then and expects Kane to do the same now and ease the burden on Raheem Sterling who had scored all of England’s three goals until the captain chipped in.
Southgate added: “I played with Alan in 96 and the change in him once he got that goal. I remember being in China when he played in China in a friendly and it was another game without a goal.
“You could sense how it was for him so that will be a high release for him there is no question about that. We know with Harry and Raheem, their goalscoring record with us has been immense and so important.
“But we cannot just expect Harry to be the one to deliver so Raheem has weighed in at a crucial moment and is looking electric but if we can get Harry scoring as well so that is great for us as a team.”