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England boss Gareth Southgate responds to Jose Mourinho’s Harry Kane plea


Southgate has promised to manage the demands on his players – but ahead of games against San Marino, Albania and Poland, he says qualification for Qatar is paramount. 

“In these three-game windows we want players in the best condition to perform, not only in game one, but game three,” said the England manager. “We’ve got to manage the load in training and matches and we try to do that. 

“We had eight games in the autumn and I don’t think anyone started more than six. We played a couple of players more than would have liked to in November, but we are talking about 20 minutes here and there. 

“We’ve got to win matches and we’ve got three World Cup qualifiers. The managers understand that and I have empathy with them. We will do all we can to manage all the players.”

Mourinho called for Kane to be protected this week, with Spurs aiming to secure Champions League qualification, as well targeting silverware in the Carabao Cup and Europa League. 

He said: “I cannot do Gareth’s work, the same way Gareth is not trying to do my work. He doesn’t make any comments about my selection, he doesn’t give any public opinion.

“He does what he thinks is best for the team. I believe that he has a good relationship with Harry. Good relations normally means good communication and I hope that happens between them without me being in the middle saying something.


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