Gareth Southgate has defended his decision to play Harry Kane for 30 minutes of England’s 1-0 defeat over Switzerland, in their friendly on Tuesday night at King Power Stadium.
Earlier in the week Southgate had talked of the need to rest the Three Lions captain before he burnt out from over-play, but after 61 minutes of the match the Tottenham star was brought on to replace Danny Welbeck.
Sports pundit and former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville has revealed his surprise that Welbeck was taken off given that he is playing on Sunday.
Furthermore he believes Kane who since 2015 has played 175 matches has been overplayed and the England captain is need of a mental break, something fellow sports pundit Jamie Redknapp also agreed with.
Southgate brought Kane off the bench for the final half-hour as England held on for a 1-0 victory following Marcus Rashford’s 54th minute goal.
After the match Southgate told Sky Sports News playing for 30 minutes was no big issue for Kane.
“I think he’s going to get matches at his club. He’s had three days of little training. We needed to keep him ticking over,” he said.
“If he didn’t play today, he would have gone out and done some running on the pitch. Playing him for 30 minutes was no big issue. To start the game is a different sort of feel, mentally it’s different.
“Also, we wanted to finish the game strongly. We had a real jigsaw to figure in terms of who we could play and take off.”
It wasn’t a great first half for England, with the national team being outplayed by a sharper and more experienced Switzerland.
But England improved after the break after Southgate gave his men a stern talking to during half-time, after which the players took responsibility to improve