RIO FERDINAND says England should give Harry Kane 45 minutes to show he can lead their Euro challenge or be dumped from the side.
Captain Kane has looked a pale shadow of his usual self in the opening two Group D matches and has been substituted by boss Gareth Southgate in both games.
Now Ferdinand claims Southgate needs to get tough with his stuttering star man and warn him he will be axed unless he sorts himself out in the first half of Tuesday’s clash with Czech Republic.
After watching his display in the goalless draw with Scotland, the BBC pundit said: “I would still play him. I’d demand more from him. There’s a conversation there to be had. You need more. He’s a top player.
“Last season the most assists, the most goals in the Premier League. You don’t become a bad player overnight, but I want to see the Harry Kane I saw in the Premier League, I want to see it in the Euros.
“And I think there is a stern conversation, a workings out conversation to get the best out of Harry Kane.
“And if it isn’t working out after 45 minutes, get someone else on there.
“Don’t wait until 13 minutes before the end of the game, it’s not long enough for these players to really impact the game.”
In defence of Kane, England have hardly been feeding him with quality balls to work from, but the ease at which he was dealt with by Norwich stopper Grant Hanley was a big concern.
And ex-striker Alan Shearer says the Tottenham star must stop continually dropping deep and start making runs in behind because he is too easy to mark at the moment.
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Shearer said: “A month ago he got the golden boot, he had the most assists in the Premier League so I don’t think it’s time to panic.
“But it’s just a reminder to Harry, and I saw it in his game last night, that he can’t keep coming short for the ball, you got to offer the defenders different problems, going long.
“At times I thought he made it easier for the defenders in doing that.
“In his defence it was far too negative. Yes we want to play a possession based game but at times you have to look forward, you’ve got to pass forward, you’ve got to break the lines.
“But Bobby Robson once said to me don’t keep coming towards the ball, give the defenders different problems. That makes it easier for defenders when you go that way.
“If you go the other way and run in behind then you have the space in front of you to ask that question.
“I know Harry is not a shouter or a screamer, he’s a different leader and leads by his performances but I think when the ball goes out wide, he has to tell the full-backs if the ball is not coming in, otherwise you don’t see the same Harry Kane.”
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