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Friday, December 1, 2017

England boss Gareth Southgate sends message to Harry Kane ahead of World Cup draw

All eyes will be on the Kremlin today for the draw for next summer’s World Cup, with England in Pot 2, the group of clubs just behind the top seeds.
The nation’s hopes of long overdue success rest squarely on the shoulders of Tottenham striker Kane, who has scored seven in his last six games for England.
Kane has never been shy to state his desire to reach the very top of the game and England manager Southgate has told him to go out and make Russia 2018 his own.
"I’m certain that is Harry’s ambition, and there’s no question if that is his ambition, then this is the stage to go and show it,” said Southgate.
"As a player you are judged a lot by what happens with your club but in the end the world stars are ultimately judged by what they do with their country, and in major tournaments, this is the stage for all of our guys to show exactly the level they are capable of.”
The England manager himself will judge success by the reaction of the people back home.
"If we come back and the country are proud, that will mean we have played well, in a way that the nation has engaged with and we will have won some games because, for sure if we haven’t, they won’t be proud of us,” he said.
However, he knows he needs to have his best players at his disposal with injuries so far disrupting preparations and preventing players such as Jack Wilshere to stake a claim.
The Arsenal midfielder still has not heard from Southgate as he tries to stake a claim back in the Gunners’ Premier League team and, after the pair both went to Burnley at the weekend without speaking, the England coach is showing little sign of softening his stance.
"He says his phone is always on? Mine isn’t!” said Southgate. “I have had a hectic couple of weeks really. Jack seems to be getting closer to the team with Arsenal.
"He has been on the bench for the last couple of Premier League matches but he has not started yet, but there are lots of conversations with lots of different players to be had over the next couple of months really.”
Southgate has expressed “massive empathy” with Jose Mourinho after the Manchester United manager was furious at Phil Jones getting injured on international duty. But he stopped short of saying sorry.
Mourinho questioned the wisdom of giving the centre-back six pain-killing injections for a friendly against Germany which he subsequently limped out of and is still battling to be ready for Saturday’s trip to Arsenal.
"First and foremost, I have massive empathy with Jose,” said Southgate.
"As a manager you don’t want to lose players to injury. For me, as the national coach, that’s the worst scenario when a player goes back to his club and is not able to play.
"Manchester United are incredibly supportive of everything we do and we are very conscious of our relation with them. We have got ongoing dialogue over this situation – it is a complex one and we want to make sure we get these things right.
"Equally I have every trust in our medical team that they make the right calls. They are very experienced people and this is an unfortunate situation and we hope Phil is back playing as soon as he can be.”