England manager Gareth Southgate says captain Harry Kane will not be playing every minute of the World Cup qualifiers, in what will be music to the ears of Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho.
Southgate’s side begin their campaign to get to Qatar 2022 against San Marino at Wembley on Thursday before matches against Albania (Sunday) and Poland (next Wednesday).
Kane has rarely been rested by Spurs and Mourinho recently said he would appreciate it if Southgate could “compromise” with the amount he uses the striker in the upcoming games.
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The skipper has not scored for his country since November 2019 and has his sights on Wayne Rooney’s all-time goals record of 53, a mark he is 21 short of, and a fixture against minnows San Marino could be ideal cannon-fodder for the forward.
"If I allowed Harry to make that decision, he would play every minute," said Southgate.
"That won't be happening. But, look, it is brilliant we have a captain who wants to play every minute of every game.
We have got to be mindful he had extra time last Thursday and another high intensity game last Sunday, so we have got situations with a lot of the players, really, and we have got to make sure we manage the fixture correctly.
"We have done that through training this week as well and we need to be just as fresh with the games against Albania and Poland as we do tomorrow.
"But we always communicate well with the players and I think we are in a good place going into the game."
Southgate will this evening become the first man to both play in and manage 50 games for England, an achievement he is incredibly proud of.
"I think when you're a young player, my only dream was to play for England," said the former defender, who won 57 caps.
To have been involved as a player with England for nine seasons and then to have the privilege of being involved with the FA and the junior teams for a period, and then now 50 games with the seniors, it's been an absolute honour.
"I suppose it'll be something I think about more when everything's finished, really. There'll be numbers up on boards somewhere that will be there.
"It's a nice landmark but of course my focus really is the team and making sure that we get this World Cup qualification off to a good start."
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