Harry Kane feels England should be proud of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign despite the lacklustre end as they drew 1-1 away at North Macedonia on Monday.
England headed to Skopje having already qualified and secured top of the group, though they were forced to come from a goal down to draw after a Jani Atanasov own goal cancelled out Enis Bardhi’s opener.
The draw follows a disappointing performance at home to Malta on Friday with England again already qualified, limping to a 2-0 victory, though Kane insists the Three Lions should be pleased with their campaign.
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“[It was a] difficult game, we knew it would be and it was tough against a decent side playing on a pitch that’s difficult to play our style of football,” Kane told Channel 4.
“I’m always trying to help the team whether it is 90 minutes or 10 minutes. It was important for us to get a goal back and a shame we couldn’t get a second.
“Against Malta we were sloppy on the ball, today we got a bit of a sucker-punch with the counter-attack and a soft penalty. We were playing against a team that people expected us to beat five or six nil, but they did a job on Italy in the World Cup qualifiers to knock them out.
“We can be really proud of how the qualifying campaign has gone.”
Maybe not! 😅 It goes down as an own goal.
— England (@England) November 20, 2023
Rico Lewis was a shining light, bouncing back from giving away a harsh first-half penalty to impress on his debut, the day before his 19th birthday.
Kane was impressed, saying: “I thought he was really good with and without the ball.
“[It was] a shame for the penalty but he can be proud, I thought he was fantastic. He just needs to keep working hard and I’m sure he will be back with us.”