(Xinhua) -- England captain Harry Kane
currently leads the race to claim the converted Golden Boot
award for the top scorer in the 2018 World Cup.
he isn’t thinking about personal glory but the good of the team
as a whole.
"We are like family, we all get on very well together, there
is trust and the other night (against Colombia) has made us
stronger and we are even more proud of each other," said the
"I look at them as my brothers and I know we’d do anything
for each other," said Kane, who had a warning for England’s
quarter-final rivals, Sweden.
"We are hungry for more.
"If we can win in 90 minutes, great, but if we have to go
through extra time and penalties we’re ready for it.
"We’ll do anything to win," he said, once again putting the
good of the team before the individual success of winning the
"It’s been a great campaign so far, but for me the job is to
help the team as much as possible, with or without the ball.
"The full focus is on helping the team," insisted Kane.
The England captain also discussed the morale boost to
England after Tuesday’s win against Colombia on penalties; the
first time England have won a game in the knockout tournament in
12 years and the first time they have ever won a penalty
shootout in the World Cup finals.
"It’s massive; we’ve had so much heartache in shootouts, so
to overcome that is very important and it will give us huge
belief if we are in that moment again," he said
Kane admitted Saturday would be a major challenge against a
Swedish side that has one of the best defenses in the
"They are defensively very strong and very compact, they’ve
had great results, and that’s as a team, they don’t have
standout individual, but they all stay together.
"It’s been shown over this tournament that all that matters
is you work hard, have belief as a team and stick together.
"People will say we have better individuals and play for
bigger clubs, but that doesn’t matter, it depends on how you
play as a team.
"Sweden have been fantastic," he concluded.
England coach Gareth
Southgate: We are still far from perfect
SAMARA Russia (Xinhua) --
England coach Gareth Southgate wants his players
to carry on their learning experience when they take on Sweden
in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday.
England’s win on penalties against Colombia on Tuesday has
given England the chance to qualify for the semifinals of the
competition for the first time since 1990, but Southgate told
the press in his pre-game conference there is still work to do.
"We are one of the youngest teams here, but we are an
improving side and want to make history," commented Southgate,
who listed his side’s achievements in reaching the last 8
"We have got our first knockout win in 12 years and had the
first Wold Cup (penalty) shootout win (against Colombia), and we
want to go on making history," he said.
Southgate said his players were not getting carried away by
their success and looking too far ahead, saying there was
"nothing" in mind, "other than tomorrow’s game."
"You are never as good as people say you are when things are
going well, and never as poor as they say when things are going
"We are an emerging side, an evolving side: a long way from
perfect," he said.
The England coach was expecting a difficult game against a
Swedish side which has shown it has one of the best defenses in
"They are a very strong team; I’ve been in matches against
Sweden (as a player) and they always have a strong identity,
they have better players than people give them credit for and
this team is no different.
"You only have to look at their results," he said,
highlighting Sweden’s organization.
"We know the challenge we face in trying to create chances.
"I think we will have more of the ball tomorrow, but Sweden
have shown they can have 30 percent possession and still win
games," warned Southgate.
Vardy unlikely to face
Sweden after missing training on Friday
Paul Giblin SAMARA Russia (Xinhua)
-- England striker Jamie Vardy was
unable to take part in his side’s training session on Friday
morning and is therefore unlikely to be available for their
World Cup quarter-final against Sweden in the Samara Arena on
Vardy suffered a slight groin injury after entering England’s
last 16 tie against Colombia as a late second half substitute on
Tuesday and was unable to take the penalty he was expected to
take in their dramatic shootout win over the South American
side, ceding the decisive final kick to midfielder Eric Dier.
The Leicester City forward has been unable to train since
Tuesday, although the fact he was able to participate in the
warm-up session with the rest of the squad on Friday suggests he
could be available for the semi-finals if England progress.
Vardy’s absence is unlikely to affect the England starting 11
on Saturday, with Harry Kane, who has scored six goals in this
World Cup, expected to lead the attack, but it could give a
chance to Danny Welbeck, who has so far only played 11 minutes
as a substitute in England’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium in their
final Group G match.
England’s other minor injury doubts (Dele Ali and Ashley
Young) were able to take part in Friday’s training and are both
expected to start in Samara.