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Support for Kane after England heartbreak

Former England internationals Gary Neville and Ian Wright, plus Ireland’s Roy Keane, have backed Harry Kane to bounce back after England’s World Cup exit.

December 11, 2022
11 December 2022

Former England internationals Gary Neville and Ian Wright have been quick to rally round Harry Kane after England’s agonising World Cup exit.

Kane missed a penalty as England’s bid to be crowned world champions for the first time since 1966 ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to France in the quarter-finals on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

Captain Kane had cancelled out Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener for France with one spot-kick but fired over from a later opportunity as an Olivier Giroud header proved decisive.

“I’m absolutely gutted for Harry Kane and gutted for the lads,” Neville, working as a pundit for ITV, said.

“They played really well in the second half. It was a 50-50 game and we’ve just come out the wrong side.

“You wouldn’t want anyone else to take that penalty. It would have made him England’s greatest-ever goalscorer.

“The referee had an absolute nightmare. He was a joke of a referee. I’m not saying that is all down to England’s defeat and people might say that is excuses, but he was just a bad referee. Rank bad.”

Former England striker Wright also gave Kane his backing saying: “You are disappointed for Harry missing the pen. He’s the man, he’s done brilliantly but he’s tried to make sure of getting it in and it’s not quite worked out. It’s so disappointing for him.”

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Roy Keane backed Kane to bounce back from his heartbreak.

“For all the disappointments, you’d still ask him to take the next one. He’s a brilliant player, a brilliant professional,” Keane said.

“But it’s a huge setback for him, you’d think he’d hit the target but he fluffed his lines.

“It’s brutal. I thought England were outstanding. They covered well and were the better team but you have to give France credit for finding a way to win when they weren’t at their best. That’s what it’s about but it’s really tough on England.”

Les Bleus go through to face surprise package Morocco for a place in the final against Croatia or Argentina and Neville feels England can leave with their heads held high, but will reflect on what might have been.

“They’ve played well and represented us unbelievably for four years but I think the lads in the changing room will think that was a missed opportunity,” he said.

“This is not a disgrace. England have lost pretty badly in some tournaments but they’ve played well against a good side. I thought they edged it in the end, but obviously not the scoreline.

“In the last 10 years we’ve won youth tournaments, we’ve won a women’s tournament, we’ve got to a men’s final, we’re playing really well and have got good technical players.

“I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years and I would love him to stay on beyond that, whether it’s as the coach or in another role the FA design.

“England is in a pretty good place. We have gone out of tournaments in the past 25 years in disgrace but we’ve got a great future and he is a big part of that.”

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