Tuesday, February 7, 2023

‘Harry Kane is tired’: Conte shares his World Cup fears over England captain

‘Harry Kane is tired’: Conte shares his World Cup fears over England captain

A week before England depart for the World Cup, Antonio Conte acknowledged that England captain Harry Kane is “really, really tired” 

Kane has started every game for Tottenham this season and was in the starting lineup when Spurs were eliminated from the Carabao Cup by Nottingham Forest, 2-0.

Due to fatigue, the 29-year- old’s participation at the City Ground was in doubt, but Conte stated that he had no choice but to start him because of injuries in his squad.

He was substituted after 59 minutes, with his team trailing 2-0, in what appeared to be a predetermined move.

However, the captain of the Three Lions has played all but 33 minutes of Tottenham’s 12 games in the last 39 days.

Kane skipped Tuesday’s training session to conserve energy, but the situation is far from ideal with England’s campaign in Qatar beginning on November 21 and a Premier League match on Saturday.

“With Harry, until this morning we waited to see if he could start or not,” the Italian said. “But in this situation he was the only striker for us. For this reason I can only say thanks for the availability they show me.

“It was a problem of tiredness. Really, really tired and yesterday we had a soft training session and at one point he stopped himself to recover energy.

“But he’s okay, it’s only fatigue but it’s normal because Harry played every game. When you have a player like him it’s difficult to decide you don’t play with him.

“Other players maybe they could tell me, ‘I’m tired and don’t want to play and help the team’. I have a group of players who are men and good players because of this.

“Another could be selfish and think for himself because in one week they have to play the World Cup. Instead, Harry Kane showed to be a really good man.

“Today it was really difficult if Kane told me, ‘maybe it’s better I don’t start today because I risk a lot to have an injury’.

“But I repeat, it’s normal, what’s happening in this period.”

Given Tottenham’s grueling schedule, it is not surprising that they were outplayed by Forest, who made light of their Premier League cellar position.

They have a rich history in the League Cup, having won it four times, and they advanced to the quarterfinals when Jesse Lingard finally broke his Forest duck, adding to Renan Lodi’s first-half goal.

Lingard had a lackluster start to his Forest career after his summer free transfer and had not scored or assisted in his first 12 appearances, but he made amends on a memorable evening at the City Ground.

The former Manchester United forward scored with a close-range header in the second half, seven minutes after assisting on Lodi’s first goal.

Boss Steve Cooper said: “I thought he was excellent. He scored one with his head and could have scored another with his head.

“I thought his positional play was good. He took up the spaces and found the spaces really well.

“And, more importantly, he did what you want your attacking players to do – you want them to be a threat and have end product.

“He did that, not just with the goal, but some of his final passes and link-up play was really good, too. I’m really pleased with him tonight, as I am with everybody else.”

‘Harry Kane is tired’: Conte shares his World Cup fears over England captain

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