Harry Kane won't be dropped for Czech game, says Gareth Southgate

Kane has faced criticism of his form after disappointing displays led to him being substituted in both England's matches so far -- the 1-0 win over Croatia and the 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday.

Harry Kane has faced criticism of his form after disappointing displays led to him being substituted in both England's matches.   -  Getty Images

England manager Gareth Southgate has taken the unusual step of confirming that striker Harry Kane will start on Tuesday in the team's final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic.

Kane has faced criticism of his form after disappointing displays led to him being substituted in both England's matches so far -- the 1-0 win over Croatia and the 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday.

Southgate normally does not offer indications on his line-up until announcing the team shortly before kickoff.

"You can assume that yeah," Southgate told ITV. "Absolutely. I don’t mind giving you that one."

England know a win against the Czechs would secure top spot in the group and progress to the last 16.

Southgate said his decisions to withdraw Kane from both games were for specific reasons and he did not question his captain's form.

"In one of the games (Croatia) we were already ahead and we needed energy, we needed to press and keep the lead and didn’t need additional goals," said Southgate.

READ | Harry Kane: I feel as good as I have all season

"With Harry during the World Cup we ended up with him playing a lot of football and we felt we needed to manage the load a bit this time.

"We have got good options on the bench to bring people into the game, but he is our most important player. There is no doubt about that. You only have to look at his goalscoring record with us to see his importance to the team," he said.

"He is fundamental not only to the goals he scores but the build up play and everything else he brings," added the England manager.

Southgate acknowledged there was criticism of Kane but said he was confident the forward would respond with goals.

"I know there will be a lot of questions being asked about him at the moment but he has been through that 100 times before," he said.

"I have answered that in this role several times in the past and he has come up with the goals that have won us the next games and I expect that to be the same moving forward," Southgate added.

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