Euro 2024: England captain Harry Kane responds to Gary Lineker's criticism of dismal Denmark draw

23 June 2024, 13:01 | Updated: 23 June 2024, 23:15

England captain Harry Kane has said he is feeling as "fit as I have all season" and is "getting fitter with each game" as he responded to criticism of the national team's performances at Euro 2024.

Kane's comments come after Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate suggested his players are not fit enough following flat performances against Serbia and Denmark.

On Tuesday, they face Slovenia in their final Group C match in Cologne.

England are in a strong position to reach the knockout stages, but Southgate has said this week his players have "limitations" and are struggling to play a pressing game and disrupt the opposing team because of their physical condition.

Although among the favourites to go all the way in Germany this summer, they have opened Euro 2024 with a 1-0 win over Serbia and an underwhelming 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday.

Asked whether he feels he can play in all of England's games in the tournament at the level he wants to play at, Kane, who was substituted in the second half on Thursday, nonetheless said: "In the first game I felt as fit as I have all season.

"Of course, I know I came off [the pitch] in the second game, but that was down to the manager wanting to... maybe freshen up the front players especially.

"So, from my point of view I'm fit, getting better and better with each game and fitter with each game."

The Bayern Munich striker, who missed the end of the German domestic season with a back injury, said it was more important to "make sure you're coming into your peak towards the most important part of the tournament which is the knockouts".

'It's tough to play for England'

Asked about comments from former England striker-turned-pundit Gary Lineker, who described the Three Lions' performance against the Danes as "s***", Kane urged his illustrious predecessor and others to "remember what it was like to wear the shirt" before criticising current players.

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Kane said: "I'd never want to be disrespectful to any player, especially, you know, a player who's worn the shirt and knows what it's like to play for England.

"Maybe ex-players or ex-players who are pundits now have got to realise... it's very hard not to listen to [what they say] now, especially for some players who are not used to it or some players who are new to the environment.

"So I always feel like [former players and pundits] have a responsibility. I know they've got to be honest and give their opinion, but also they have a responsibility of being an ex-England player.

"The bottom line is, we haven't won anything as a nation for a long, long time. And, you know, a lot of these ex-players were part of that as well... they do know that it's tough to play in these major tournaments. It's tough to play for England."

Kane also said the squad is in a "good place" despite widespread criticism of the team's first two performances and being booed and jeered following the 1-1 draw in Frankfurt.

Before taking questions, the striker played darts with reporters.