Russia (Xinhua) -- England
captain Harry Kane said on Sunday that he hoped to score
a hat-trick on Monday’s match against Tunisia like
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
will open their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign against
Tunisia in the Group G opening clash at Volgograd Arena.
Kane said during the pre-match press conference that
he watched the game between Portugal and Spain last
Friday and thought Ronaldo was fantastic.
Admitting the excellent performance of Ronaldo put
him "under a bit of pressure", the 24-year-old England
forward said he wanted to do the same in his World Cup
The Tottenham Hotspur Forward vowed to show the world
"I had to work hard on the training pitch and take
the opportunities when they came.
"The last few years I’ve improved and now I’m here,
and I can’t wait to get out there and show the world
what I’ve got," he added.
With regard to Monday’s game against Tunisia, the
England captain said the whole team wanted to attack, to
create chances and score goals at this major tournament.
"My aim is to go out there with confidence and play
my best for the team," Harry Kane said.
Southgate looks to
ease pressure ahead of England’s World Cup opener
by Paul Giblin MOSCOW
(Xinhua) -- England head coach
Gareth Southgate says he has told the players in his
squad who will be in the starting XI when his side kick
off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia in
Volgograd on Monday.
Southgate usually only tells his players who is
starting on the day of the game, but explained to the
press that in this case he was making an exception given
the importance of the occasion.
"The players know the team for the first game
already," he said, adding England had been "working on a
system of play we think suits the players we have
available and the style of play we want."
That probably means that nine players will be making
their World Cup debuts against Tunisia, with Jordan
Henderson in the midfield holding role and Harry Maguire
part of a three-man defense allowing Ashley Young to
play as an attacking left back.
Southgate tried to lift the pressure off his squad
after several former players have commented recently
that the expectations of past tournaments stopped them
from performing at their best level.
"Everyone at home wants England to win but they want
to see them play well and enjoy their football and
that’s what I want as a coach."
"When you represent England, or any other country,
there’s expectation, there’s hope, you carry the dreams
of a nation, and it’s impossible to say to any player
you can go out and play without any feeling of
"But what you have to do is make sure that doesn’t
control you," said the coach, who believes the pressure
comes from listening to "external noise" from outside of
Harry Kane will be under more pressure than anyone as
England’s captain and star striker and Southgate praised
the Tottenham forward’s influence.
"He is a great leader in terms of his approach to
everything about his profession.
He is meticulous and considered, he wants to be the
best he can be and believes he can be one of the best in
the world. His stats over the last few years tell us
he’s heading that way."
However, Southgate also made it clear England can’t
be a one-man team.
"We have others in our camp who help to take the
pressure away from him having the burden of expectation,
because the young players coming through are people we
are excited about.
"Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Marcus
"We have to be about the collective."