The Three Lions went down to their first defeat in 43 qualification matches but their skipper doesn’t think it’s time to worry
Harry Kane believes England’s shock Euro 2020 qualification loss to the Czech Republic is a wake-up call but insisted there was no need to panic.
The skipper gave England the lead after five minutes from the penalty spot, converting for his 27th international goal after Raheem Sterling was fouled.
The Czechs hit back almost immediately, levelling things after less than five minutes had elapsed. Jakub Brabec scored his first goal for his country, poking home from close range after a Jakub Kankto free kick caused panic in the England back line.
Defensive errors led to the winner, which sees the Czechs pull level with the Three Lions on 12 points in Group A, when Zdenek Ondrasek capitalised on several England mistakes. It was England’s first loss in a qualification match since a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in 2009, 43 games ago.
Kane admitted the performance was not good enough but said there were no easy matches in elite European competition.
“I think it was down to us,” Kane told ITV Sport “It was a perfect start to an away game.
“We were sloppy with the ball, we didn’t move it as quickly as we normally do.
“Every away game in Europe is difficult.
“They had the crowd behind them, sometimes the pitch is not as easy to play, but that’s no excuse.
“It’s a bit of a wake up call but we’re in a good position.”
Despite the setback England are still favourites to emerge from the group, and a win against Bulgaria on Monday would see them back on track to qualify for next summer’s tournament.
Kane, who now has 20 goals as England captain, second-most all time, saw positives in the second half performance.
He saw Monday’s match in Sofia as an opportunity to right the wrongs of Friday’s muted display.
The second half was better,” he added “we had a couple of chances to put the game to bed and we didn’t and unfortunately we gave one away at the end.
“There’s still stuff to work on for sure. We gave the ball away too cheaply and we’ll have to go away and look at it. There’s no need to panic and we’ll go again on Monday.”