England boss Gareth Southgate claimed that he looked to add more energy to his team by replacing Harry Kane with Marcus Rashford against Scotland.
The Three Lions boss took his captain off in the second half after another fairly flat performance. But despite his fellow forward’s introduction, England could not find the all-important winner. Indeed, Scotland secured a 0-0 draw at Wembley on Friday to keep their hopes of Euro 2020 knockout stage qualification alive.
Kane faced criticism from former Three Lions star Alan Shearer for his display in England’s opening group match against Croatia.
While Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness were in the analysis hot seat this time around, though, the same topic of Kane’s performance came up.
All three raised further concern for the Tottenham man’s 74-minute outing.
Speaking to ITV Sport in his post-match interview, Southgate faced a probing on why he took Kane off.
“”I just felt that we needed a few more runs in behind, we felt Marcus would give us that energy and we’ve got to try and get the win at that point,” he said.
“But we have to make these decisions based on what we see.”
Asked to name what Kane was missing from his game after scooping the Premier League’s top scorer and top assister awards last season, Southgate insisted that there is more to it than the striker’s own form.
“Well, we can look at ourselves, it starts with me,” he added.
“We know we didn’t do enough to win tonight, not enough attempts on goal, so that’s something we’re going to look at over the next couple of days.”
Kane forms part of an array of attacking talent that are inevitably overlapping in the tournament; while Kane made way for Rashford, Jack Grealish came on for Phil Foden.
Southgate praises Scotland defending
“I think we’re still working those patterns, we’re still playing at a very high level under huge intensity and to find space tonight was really difficult,” Southgate said when asked about his side’s attacking potential.
“Scotland got back into their blocks really well, defended really well and we weren’t able to open them up.”
England know a point will do against Czech Republic to make the last 16, but they can top Group D with a win on Tuesday.
Scotland needed to avoid defeat to keep their qualification hopes alive.