Harry Kane has told England supporters there is no need to panic over a slump in results ahead of the World Cup.
Gareth Southgate’s side have not won any of their last five competitive matches and were relegated from League A of the Nations League following a 1-0 loss in Italy on Friday night.
Having reached the final of Euro 2020 last summer, the drop-off in results and performances has been a stark one, highlighted by the fact Kane’s penalty in an away draw to Germany is England’s only goal in five Nations League games this year.
Despite the worrying nature of the recent decline, Kane believes the team can still come good when the World Cup kicks off in Qatar in November.
Asked if the important message to supporters, some of whom jeered Southgate at the final whistle in San Siro, was not to panic, the England captain replied: “I think so.
“We’re not panicking. We know we want to improve.
“Of course I understand the frustration of the fans. I was an England fan and still am an England fan whether I’m playing or not.
“If we have a successful tournament I’m not sure people will be worried about the spell we had over the summer, and that’s the bottom line.
“We need to improve, we know that. The fans are always great and stick with us. I know they will be there on Monday (against Germany at Wembley) supporting us and everyone will be excited about the World Cup, regardless of what happens. Hopefully we can repay them with some good results.”
There has been a groundswell of criticism aimed at Southgate which began, vocally at least, at Molineux in June as England were humbled 4-0 by Hungary.
Derision over substitution decisions and calls of “you don’t know what you’re doing” marked arguably the toughest time of Southgate’s reign, which has taken in a World Cup semi-final as well as the penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
Kane, however, feels it is in the Middle East this winter when the current England side will need to deliver.
“Any fans in the world want to be winning games and having things their way all the time, but sometimes that’s not football,” he said.
“We played better (against Italy), we created some great chances, didn’t quite take them, weren’t clinical enough.
“I don’t think it’s any time to get too high, when you winning games, or too low, when you’re losing games.
“I believe we are going to be judged on how we perform out in Qatar. We’re just in one of those moments where it’s not quite going our way. We’re confident we can turn that around.
“We have one more game on Monday to try to get some good feelings back. Ultimately once we get to the World Cup we will be ready for that first game and be fully focused on that.
“I don’t think our confidence has been dented…but you want to win games. We are all experienced enough, with our clubs especially we have been through those moments when things haven’t been going so well. It’s about bouncing back.”