Harry Kane has denied that England have a discipline problem and predicts both Harry Maguire and Reece James will learn from their sendings off after England were beaten by Denmark in the Nations League.
Maguire was already under intense scrutiny after a difficult period for both club and country in the wake of his arrest in Greece and the Manchester United captain endured a 31-minute nightmare in what was one of the toughest nights of Gareth Southgate’s reign.
Referee Jesus Gil Manzano gave Maguire his marching orders after a pair of reckless challenges on Yussuf Poulsen and Kasper Dolberg and Christian Eriksen converted from the penalty spot shortly after the defender’s red card at Wembley.
The visitors managed to hold on to their narrow advantage and England’s evening soon got even worse as Chelsea youngster James was sent off for dissent on his full debut shortly after the final whistle.
Southgate jumped to the defence of both Maguire and James following the defeat and England captain Kane followed suit as he backed the duo to bounce back even stronger from the experience.
‘Harry’s a strong guy, a strong guy mentally,’ the Tottenham striker said.
‘I think any professional footballer, it takes a lot of ups and downs to reach the level that we’re at and H has definitely had that.
‘He’s had ups and downs in his career. Obviously it wasn’t his night but he’ll definitely learn from it.
‘Football’s a game that can turn around quick. All you can do is learn and work harder and that’s what H will do.
‘I’m not worried about him. The boys will get around him. We’ve got another camp in a few weeks and we’ve just got to stick together.
‘Things are going to go wrong now and then but I’m so proud of the boys in the way they fought and the togetherness.
‘That’s what we’ve got to take away from this week, which was a great week with two good wins against Wales and Belgium as well.’
Asked whether the Three Lions have a disciplinary issue, Kane replied: ‘I don’t think there’s a problem with discipline.
‘I think H’s one is a couple of 50-50 tackles that didn’t quite go his way tonight.
‘When you’re putting your body on the line and every bit of effort you’ve got to try and get something out of the game, and again and again decisions just didn’t quite go our way, it’s hard to take.
‘You’ve got a lot of emotion and that’s what I want to see from my squad.
‘You’ll have to ask the ref what happened with Reece but, yeah, Reece will learn from it and we’ll get around him and make sure whenever he’s next in the squad he’ll be ready to play like he did tonight because he was fantastic.’