We are just enjoying it - Kane dares to believe after England eases past Panama

England's 6-1 rout of Panama shows how its hard work in training is starting to pay off, according to captain Harry Kane.

Harry Kane scores England's second goal in the 21st minute off a penalty against Panama at FIFA World Cup 2018 match in Novgorod.   -  Getty Images

Harry Kane revealed England's young squad is basking in the chance to play at a World Cup after it booked its place in the knockout stages in style on Sunday.

Captain Kane scored a hat-trick as Gareth Southgate's side made it two wins from two in Group G courtesy of a 6-1 thrashing of Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.

John Stones scored twice with his head while Jesse Lingard produced a fine curling finish as England eased into a 5-0 lead by half-time.

Kane - who completed his treble in rather fortunate fashion in the second half, inadvertently deflecting a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot into the net - believes the convincing win was a reward for the players' hard work on the training field.

"I am so, so proud of the boys," he told BBC Sport. "We are just enjoying it - enjoying being here.

"They started pretty well, but we've been working on set-pieces, working on the way we want to play, and it's all coming together.

"It's a brilliant result and it's obviously fantastic to be through."

'You have to believe'

The resounding nature of the victory, coming after an injury-time winner against Tunisia in its opener, will raise expectation levels back in England.

The nation has not won the World Cup since 1966 and while he acknowledges there is still a long way to go before it ends its wait to lift the trophy again, Kane sees no reason to be pessimistic about its chances this year.

"I said before, you have to believe. To achieve anything in life you have to believe," the Tottenham striker - who came off immediately after completing his treble in the 62nd minute - said.

"There's a long way to go, a lot of hard work to do. We will stick together and keep to our game plan, that’s the most important thing."

England rounds out its group campaign with a fixture against fellow qualifier Belgium on Thursday, with the winner certain to finish on top of the table.

"It's a bit disappointing to concede a goal [against Panama] at the end, but we've got to go into the game [with Belgium] believing we can win," Kane said ahead of the clash in Kaliningrad.

"It gives us a bit of a cushion, but it's going to be an attacking game as both teams are through, so let’s see what happens."