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World Cup: Southgate keen to praise Kane display

England head coach Gareth Southgate felt he saw a real return to form from skipper Harry Kane, after the striker scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Albania.

(This article was originally published on 13.11.2021)

Kane has struggled with Tottenham so far this season, scoring just once in the Premier League and he is now 16/1 to be the leading goalscorer in the English top-flight this season.

No problems at Wembley

However, Kane enjoyed a fruitful Friday evening as he completed his fourth treble for the Three Lions, with Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also on the scoresheet during a devastating first 45 minutes.

The second half saw not further goals scored, with Kane passing up a couple of opportunities to add to his tally, which now reads an England record 39 in competitive internationals and 44 in total.

A beaming Southgate told reporters: "Harry's all-round centre-forward performance was excellent. His hold-up play, he bullied the centre-backs, brought team-mates into play very well and pressured the opposition very well.

"Form is always temporary. What pleased me most was his all-round performance, we know he will score goals.

"But I liked the way he was aggressive in his hold-up play. He was running in behind, linked well, he was really on song."

Still work to do for England

Despite their Wembley romp, the Three Lions still need a point to make sure of automatic qualification for the 2022 World Cup finals.

Their final Group I fixture comes on Monday evening away to San Marino, who have lost all nine of the qualifiers in this competition.

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