Tottenham striker Harry Kane has welcomed news that Gareth Southgate will hand his England squad a week off ahead of meeting prior to the World Cup.
It has been widely reported that Southgate has allowed players to head abroad before meeting next Monday. That stance is in contrast to Roy Hodgson’s decision ahead of Euro 2016, but it is one that Kane believes is perfect.
“We get a week from now until we meet up with the boys,” he said following Tottenham’s 5-4 win against Leicester on the final day of the season. “I’m going to go away, play a bit of golf and chill, relax the mind. I’ll stay in shape during the week and look forward to meeting up, training hard and getting ready for the friendlies.
“A week is the perfect amount of time. It’s not enough time to lose a lot of fitness but it’s a good time to refresh mentally. So I’ll spend a bit of time on the beach with the family and chill. Physically I’ll do a bit in the gym, not too much. And when we meet up I’ll have plenty of time before the World Cup to get into top shape.
“We go through a lot in a season with your club and country so you’ve got to switch off. Stay away from everything, leave the phone indoors and spend time with the loved ones and enjoy that for a week.
“It’s my second tournament and I’m looking forward to getting back out there. It’s the biggest tournament in the world. There is always going to be pressure but that is to be expected. We are one of the top teams and it’s a World Cup so you have to deal with it. I can’t wait for the challenge to get out there. It’s exciting.”
The decision to allow players to have a week off means that Southgate will only have his full squad available to him for one World Cup warm-up game — the fixture against Costa Rica on June 7 — due to Liverpool players’ participation in the Champions League final on May 26 and Chelsea and Manchester United contesting the FA Cup final on Saturday.
Southgate submitted a provisional 35-man squad to FIFA on Monday and will publicly announce his final 23-man party on Wednesday. It is reported that Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold will feature although Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey is set to miss out.
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