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Harry Kane hits back at diver claims as Gareth Southgate and Danny Rose defend England ace | Football | Sport

Harry Kane has insisted he is not a diver – as Danny Rose issued a warning that the world should appreciate the England striker while they have him around.

The England and Tottenham centre forward grabbed his second hat-trick for his country as they hammered Bulgaria 4-0 at Wembley on Saturday, and moved remorselessly toward Wayne Rooney’s international goalscoring record.

But the shadow of the diving allegations that surrounded him after last week’s north London derby against Arsenal, when Harry Kane appeared to go down under a challenge from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, surfaced again – and as Kane hit back, Rose insisted his Spurs and England team-mate will not be fazed by the controversy.

Kane, who now has 25 goals from 40 caps for England, said: “I have never felt I should apologise for diving – and hopefully I don’t have to.

“I said after the game it was a 50-50 challenge. The week before against Newcastle we were denied a clear penalty. The year before against Arsenal we had a penalty from a similar challenge given against us.

“It happens in football. I am someone who uses his body well, which as a striker you have to do. On the half-way line it’s a free kick every day of the week.

“In the penalty box you don’t always get it. People’s opinions are their opinions. I wasn’t concentrating on that sort of stuff. For me, it’s about doing my best on the pitch and the most important thing is winning games.”

Kane on Saturday, with two nerveless penalties and a typically clinical close range finish, moved past England 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst’s record of 24 goals for his country. Only Gary Lineker is ahead of him with goals from his first 40 games – with 27.

But at this rate, with this level of opposition, Rooney’s all time England record of 53 goals is looming fast.

Rose said: “Harry is mentally very strong. He will never pay attention to anything negative, and he will never get carried away.

“He is the ultimate professional, the best I have ever trained or played with. His record for club and country is no co-incidence. It is typical Harry just to respond by scoring a hat-trick.

“He is really dedicated. He does not drink or go out. He does extra every day. When things are not going right at our club, he is the first one to say what we need to do. He is the first player in and one of the last out. It is a privilege to play with him.

“What is scary is that he is only 27. Hopefully his best years are still to come.

“People should focus on his goal record and what he offers to any team across the world. We should relish watching him. I don’t want to put pressure on Harry – but when he is in the team, you are guaranteed goals and a leader who will give everything.”

England coach Gareth Southgate has no doubts: “It will be about avoiding injuries.

“There’s a reason that only Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Wayne have got there, because it’s such a hard challenge to stay fit, focused and motivated for the long period. But if anybody has that strength of mentality, it’s Harry.”

Kane admitted: “It’s still a long way off and a lot can happen. The players I’m playing with they are going to create chances, I’ve just got to put them away.

“Geoff’s milestone is something I’m very proud of, but I’m always looking forward to he next one, see if I can get to 30.

“I don’t study the records. I don’t want to distract myself. If I get to Wayne’s tally and I’m still young enough then it will be about scoring more. I’ve got to stay injury free and keep my place in the team.”

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