Southgate hands captaincy back to Harry Kane

Date published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 1:45

Gareth Southgate is yet to decide who will be England’s captain for the World Cup after handing Harry Kane the armband for the qualifier against Slovenia.

Tottenham striker Kane was named Three Lions captain for the Group F clash on Thursday, but England head coach Southgate is yet to decide on the long-term future of the role.

“He’s certainly someone whose leadership qualities are invaluable to us as a team and he’s clearly in a very good moment in his form,” Southgate said of Kane.

“We really enjoy working with him and I’ve known him a long time. He’s improved and is maturing all the time as well.”

When asked who England’s captain will be for the long term, Southgate added at a press conference: “I haven’t decided yet.

“The important thing for me was when we looked at the group of players at the start, we saw potential leaders but lads who hadn’t had experience of leading and how do we allow for that to happen, and how do we give them a feel of it, and I think that’s worked well over the last few months.

“All of those experiences will stand them in good stead. Different situations, different opportunities to be in front of people, sharing a responsibility of team. I think that’s key.”

Southgate also said there are several players who have the potential to be England captain.

The former Middlesbrough and England Under-21 boss continued: “The skills and qualities and experiences needed for a captain aren’t just the things you talk about.

“It’s not just about the matchday – it’s everything around the camp, thinking how you integrate the squad and how you involve other people and the moments to step forward, leading by example, leading by having a quiet word with people.

“There’s lots of things that go towards making a good captain. That won’t happen overnight, we’re talking about leadership experience that comes over a longer period of time.

“We have several people that I think can step into that fold now – and that can only benefit us as a team.”

After being named captain for Thursday’s game, Kane said: “It makes me very proud.

“Growing up as a kid you always want to play for your country and dream about being captain, especially walking out at Wembley. That will be an amazing thing for me personally.”

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