Kane hungry for more success

England's Harry Kane (left) and manager Gareth Southgate (pic Steve Paston/PA)

England's Harry Kane (left) and manager Gareth Southgate (pic Steve Paston/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tottenham striker Harry Kane is in the form and shape of his life ahead of captaining England at Wembley for the first time tonight.

Having netted 13 goals in eight matches for club and country in September, few in the world can compete with the free-scoring 24-year-old right now.

Kane will look to fire England to the World Cup against Slovenia and continue a fairy-tale rise that shows no sign of ending, thanks to a desire to improve that complements his ability.

“Over the last year or so now, I’ve changed a lot off the pitch with the nutrition side of it,” said Kane.

“It kind of clicked in my head that a football career is so short – it goes so quickly, you’ve just got to try and make every day count.

“That’s why I’ve got a chef at home now (to enable me) to eat the right foods, which is big for recovery, doing everything right.

“The amount of games you play, you don’t always get the chance to train every week as hard as you want, so you have to try make the little gains away from football as well and that’s recovery, sleep, eating the right foods and go from there.

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“That will help me going into a tournament year because it’ll definitely help my recovery, help my body and hopefully keep me fresh all year.”

That chef, recommended by a friend, has been working with Kane since January – a sort of New Year’s resolution that helps ensure he is fuelled properly at the right times every day of the week.

“He told me what he could do and it kind of blew me away a bit about the food side of it because I’d never really looked too much into it,” added Kane.

“When he explained what the body does and how it can help you recover and things with injuries, like when I had the injuries, he helped a lot with that – with the certain foods I was eating.

“It opened my eyes a bit to that kind of side of it and I’ve found it’s really helped me.”

Recovery is key during the season, which is why Kane keeps away from alcohol until the end – unless Spurs win something, that is – and is careful what he eats.

“Apple crumble,” Kane said of his guilty pleasure. “But my week is planned leading up to games to maximise my full potential.”

Given that focus, it is little surprise to hear Kane would not head abroad to watch a concert like Sergio Aguero – albeit he was keen not to pass judgement on the Manchester City striker.

Little wonder, too, that England manager Gareth Southgate says the striker is “absolutely the kind of role model you want”, with his focus barely ever wavering and pressure bouncing off him.

Kane aspires to be a consistent elite performer like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but his appreciation for players goes for past performers as well as present.

He made a beeline for Sir Bobby Charlton at St George’s Park as England’s training pitch was renamed in his honour on Monday and picked the brain of Alan Shearer the following day.

“It was great to hear from him,” Kane said. “I think the lads were attached to him telling the stories not just about England but about his whole career, what he’d come through, the ups and downs along the way.

“We spoke about penalties, we spoke about a lot of stuff.

“It was just great to have an England legend, really, coming, giving his experience and what he’s been through.”