Timing your run is part of any top striker’s armoury so Harry Kane is banking on getting his right at Euro 2020 so he strikes gold when it matters. The knockout stages have been a damp squib for the England captain who has drawn a blank so far at the tournament.
After being substituted against Croatia and Scotland, he was more influential against the Czech Republic but a first goal of the Euros remains elusive.
Having faded away after a fast start in front of goal in Russia three years ago, Kane is crossing his fingers his best stuff is yet to come against Germany and hopefully beyond.
“I’m in a good place,” said Kane. “Going into Tuesday night, physically I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far and that’s what I kind of wanted going into this.
“I felt in Russia I started on fire, scored loads of goals, then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the most important games – the quarters and the semi-finals. So coming into this, physically, I wanted to make sure I was peaking at the right time.
“Obviously we won’t know until Tuesday night if that’s the case, but the way I feel, that’s the way I feel it’s going.
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“I know, especially the first two games, I could have probably played better. For me it is about trying to peak at the right time and the right time in tournament football is the knockout stages.”
He gave a rueful smile yesterday in the St George’s Park drizzle at the criticism which accompanied him through the group stages.
“It’s definitely not the first time people have doubted me in my career, that’s for sure,” he said.
“As a striker you go through some great spells where you are scoring every game and everything you touch turns into goals and then there are some where things don’t fall your way, the keeper makes some saves and that’s probably the way it’s gone in this tournament so far.
“People are quick to change their mind. It wasn’t too long ago when I won the golden boot and I was the best thing in the world.
“Self-belief is a huge thing. I’ve always believed in myself. I could go 10/15 games without scoring but give me a chance and I’d back myself to score it.”