Football

Practice makes perfect penalties, says hat-trick hero Harry Kane

Harry Kane put his second England hat-trick down to hours of practising penalties as the Three Lions took another step towards Euro 2020 qualification with a 4-0 thrashing of Bulgaria at Wembley yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Kane, 26, opened the scoring with a simple finish from close range before the break, and then sealed his hat-trick with two second-half spot-kicks.

"Just practice," said the England captain when asked for the key to him scoring eight consecutive penalties for his country.

"It could be 10, 15 (a day), it depends how I'm feeling on the day. We've got such explosive players (that) we are going to get penalties, and it's important... (to) put them away."

The Tottenham Hotspur striker's penalty record for England is now just one behind Frank Lampard's tally.

It is a skill Southgate says should be admired. He said: "We stood and watched him take penalties for about 20 minutes yesterday.

"When you watch the process that he goes through, he just gives himself every chance of succeeding by that deliberate practice.

"If you can be confident on the bench when a penalty is given, we're as confident as we possibly could be.

"You always know there's a chance that even the most outstanding penalty can be saved, but in those moments, he really has supreme temperament and technique."

Kane is the first player to score 25 or more goals in his first 40 appearances for England since Gary Lineker and is clearly thriving with Raheem Sterling alongside him.

Kane has also moved ahead of 1966 World Cup final hero Geoff Hurst (24) in the all-time England scoring list.

"Of course, it's great to get goals and individual stuff but the most important thing is winning team trophies and obviously England haven't done that for a long time now," he said. - REUTERS, AFP

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