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Neville: Exhausted Kane needs break


REST: Harry Kane. Pic: PA

REST: Harry Kane. Pic: PA

REST: Harry Kane. Pic: PA

Gary Neville claims England should have given captain Harry Kane a break from international duty after expressing concern the striker is mentally exhausted.

England's summer run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia saw Kane finish as the tournament's leading scorer.

It came in his first finals as leader of the team, and Neville believes the stress Kane has been under is now showing.

He questioned whether England boss Gareth Southgate got it right by including Kane in match-day squads for both the Nations League opener against Spain and Tuesday's friendly with Switzerland.

Neville said: "I am concerned about Harry Kane. Since 2015 he has played 175 matches and he's struggling. Forget the physical side, he needs a mental break as well.

"I don't think he should have been here for the two weeks. I think there is a welfare thing in terms of looking after players. He has not had enough of a break since 2015."

Neville suggested that Kane "needs a real break and that escape" from the pressures of his responsibilities, with the 25-year-old such a key figure for his country and Tottenham.

The former Manchester United and England defender, who also had a spell as Three Lions assistant boss during Roy Hodgson's reign, said that Kane "just looks like he needs looking after".

Kane, along with most of England's starters from Saturday's game against Spain, was named as a substitute for the Switzerland friendly.

The striker came off the bench at the King Power Stadium to play the final half-hour as England held on for a 1-0 victory following Marcus Rashford's goal.

Meanwhile, Southgate was pleased to hear voices raised in the England dressing room as "stern words" at half-time against Switzerland helped deliver a first victory in four games.

"We always encourage them to have a voice. It's important they feel close enough that they can get on to each other," said Southgate.

"They were frustrated by the first half. I wasn't in there at that moment because we always give them the first three or four minutes to themselves.

"We have to make sure that doesn't boil over but it was quite calm by the time we got in there."