English Premiership

Hodgson: Don't send Kane to Oz

2015-03-20 07:50
Harry Kane (tottenhamhotspur.com)

London - England manager Roy Hodgson expressed reservations on Thursday about Tottenham Hotspur's plans to take striking sensation Harry Kane to Australia for a post-season friendly against Sydney FC.

Kane, 21, has been the revelation of the English top-flight season, scoring 26 goals in 42 games, and has been rewarded with a first senior England call-up for their forthcoming games against Lithuania and Italy.

He is also likely to be selected by England under-21 coach Gareth Southgate for the European Championship in the Czech Republic, starting on June 17, and Hodgson is concerned that participating in Spurs' game with Sydney on May 30 will prevent him from getting a proper break.

"Personally speaking, playing for England at under-21 level in a tournament is more important than a friendly in Malaysia (sic) and I would be very hypocritical if I didn't give that answer," Hodgson said.

"If he needs a rest, there's a great opportunity when the season ends and before our under-21s get together to give him a rest.

"You can't expect me in good faith to say, 'I understand that he shouldn't be resting for the Australia trip -- he should be doing that (going to Australia) and then resting when the under-21s pitch up.' I can't go along with that."

Tottenham have committed to taking their best available squad to Australia, while manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday he would speak to the Football Association about the best way to manage Kane's workload.

Hodgson said Southgate would discuss the matter with Pochettino and admitted that due to the commercial nature of the agreement between Spurs and Sydney FC, "it is to some extent a decision which is outside of Mauricio's hands".

Kane is in line to win his first England cap in the 2016 European Championship qualifier at home to Lithuania on March 27, which falls four days before a friendly against Italy in Turin.

He is likely to spend some time in attack alongside Wayne Rooney, who scored as United beat Kane's Spurs 3-0 at Old Trafford last Sunday and celebrated by throwing a flurry of punches and mimicking his fall to the ground seen in a home video which went viral.

Hodgson said the celebration had been a "clever" way of responding to the controversy, but he was reluctant to express an opinion when asked if the matter was a cause for concern.

"When it comes to things like this, they go in and out of my mind very quickly," he told journalists during a briefing at Wembley.

"I don't really want to add anything to what's been said. Manchester United and (manager) Louis van Gaal didn't want to comment further on the subject, I don't want to comment further on the subject, so you'll have to guess whether I'm concerned or not."

Hodgson has been busy in front of the camera himself, having revealed that he and his backroom staff compiled videos for England's players to watch during the four-month break since the squad last convened in November.

He said the videos, five to seven minutes in length and sent to the players' iPads, were position-specific and contained tactical advice as well as footage from matches.

Hodgson described the videos as a way to "break the ice" that had built up since England's 3-1 win over Scotland on November 18, but said he would not be checking that all of his players had actually watched them.

"I don't really want to start doing the Sherlock Holmes bit of trying to find out who has and who hasn't watched it, because when we get them together again, we can work on it anyway," he said. "We can talk to them."


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