Harry Kane has praised staff at his club Tottenham Hotspur, and in particular boss Mauricio Pochettino, for helping him to become one of England’s main strikers.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a fine first season as a regular at White Hart Lane last term and bagged 31 goals in 51 games – form which he took into the Three Lions senior squad after being called up by boss Roy Hodgson.
Kane scored on his debut against Lithuania at Wembley in March and has since struck three goals in seven internationals.
England v France
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And he puts much of it down to the work done on the Spurs training ground, where England will be on Monday ahead of their game against France.
“They’ve been great, they are great people to have around, very enthusiastic and just try to get the best out of all their players,” said Kane. “They give everyone a chance and if you work hard for the manager the rewards are there.
“The first year, last year, he did a lot of work with me around the box, the penalty area movement. He’s a defender and knows what to come up against as a striker. Little tips here and there have helped, and a lot of work in the gym.
“He still does a lot of that work with not just me but everyone, that explosive power work and you can see in our performances this season how that is a big part of our game, we’re fitter than most teams and that is a big part of what he wants.”
Highlights of Spain v England
Despite not scoring for Spurs in his first eight outings this campaign, he is now on a run of six in his last four appearances, including a hat-trick in a 5-1 win at AFC Bournemouth.
For England, his goal against Lithuania was followed up with strikes against San Marino and Switzerland in September, while he saw another effort away in Vilnius in October hit the post and deflect in off the keeper for an own goal.
With the country’s top goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, playing and training alongside Kane, the Londoner hopes he can learn and develop enough to one day challenge the skipper’s record of 50 goals, so far, for the Three Lions.
“Obviously it’s an amazing achievement for Wayne to be England’s all-time top goalscorer,” he said. “I’ve just started on the England international scene but hopefully one day that could be me, scoring that many goals, but I know there is a long way to go before then and a lot of hard work.
“It’s just about doing what I can for now and doing things right, trying to score as many goals as possible.
“Maybe in 10 years we’ll see where I’m at. Hopefully still playing for England and still playing at a high level.”
Kane continued: "I'm always confident in my ability, I think even when I wasn't scoring goals, I didn't feel I was playing bad. I still felt I was contributing to the team.
"It was just a matter of time. I've said before, you need a bit of luck now and then. I probably didn't have that at the start of the season.
"Things turn around quick and seven goals now for Spurs this season, which is great for me, gives me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can just continue that form now until the end of the season."
Kane will be keen to get one over on one of his Tottenham team-mates at Wembley on Tuesday night, however.
With England’s game against France going ahead following the horrifying incidents in Paris on Friday, where Les Bleus beat the current World champions Germany 2-0, Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris looks set to lead his team out under the Wembley arch.
And Didier Deschamps’ side boasts an array of talent, many of whom play their club football in England, so Kane is expecting another testing encounter following England’s 2-0 defeat in Spain.
“France are a great side with some top players so I know it will be a tough game at Wembley on Tuesday,” he said.
“Obviously Hugo will be there - me and him get on very well, we have a good relationship we talk every day. It will be strange coming up against him.
“We train every day and know each other's game so if I do play it will be interesting to play against him.”