Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson: Don't take Kane Down Under

England boss Roy Hodgson has criticised Tottenham, claiming they should not be taking Harry Kane on a 21,000-mile post-season trek to Australia if they think he needs a rest.

Kane gushed with pride on Thursday after being rewarded for his fine form with a maiden England call-up.

The 21-year-old is in line to make his international debut against Lithuania on March 27 or in Italy four days later.

''It is an honour to be called up to the senior side, something I always dreamed of as a kid," Kane told Spurs TV.

''I'm excited, when I got the message I was going to be in I was full of joy and hopefully it is the first of many.''

Having started the season as Spurs' third-choice striker, few expected Kane to score 26 goals for the club.

But now he is the club's poster boy and, for that reason, the north Londoners are determined to take him on their post-season jaunt to Australia, where they will play Sydney FC in a friendly on May 30.

Hodgson is not so keen on the idea, however. Kane will, more than likely, be included in the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship - which takes place from June 17 to June 30 - as Hodgson wants him to experience international tournament football.

Gareth Southgate's team will play at least one friendly between the end of the season (May 24) and the start of the tournament on June 17.

Hodgson has noted Mauricio Pochettino's concerns about Kane's potential tiredness, but he thinks Spurs have a perfect opportunity to rest Kane by leaving him out of the squad for the 42-hour round flight to Australia.

"This is a marketing game as far as I can understand," the England manager said.

"Personally speaking, playing for England at Under-21 level at a tournament is more important than a friendly in Australia.

"I would be very hypocritical if I didn't give that answer.

"If he needs a rest, there's a great opportunity when the season ends before our Under-21s get together to give him a rest.

"You can't expect me in good faith to say: 'oh no, I understand he shouldn't be resting for the Australia trip, he should be doing that and then resting when the under-21s pitch up.' I can't go along with that."

Having represented Spurs across four competitions, Kane could amass well over 50 appearances for the club before the end of the season.

And the Argentinian expects the forward to push himself to the extreme to impress Hodgson.

Pochettino will relay his concerns to Hodgson when England train at the club's Enfield base next week in the build-up to the two internationals.

"I will see Mauricio," Hodgson said.

"I don't think it's a problem there. Don't forget these decisions are sometimes commercial and taken out of a coach's hands."

Pochettino maintains he enjoys a good relationship with the England manager.

"Always we try to find what is best for the player. We need to understand every position but I think we have a very good relationship and after (discussions) we will take a decision," the Spurs boss said.

The issue of who goes to the Czech Republic for the Under-21 tournament is likely to continue until Southgate picks his squad in May.

Hodgson is happy for Southgate to select any senior player who is eligible and Kane is willing to play, according to the Under-21s coach, who has fielded the forward regularly during the Young Lions' qualification campaign.

"He's been a big part of this group," Southgate said.

"He wants to go and have a crack at being European champions, so I don't foresee that that will change."

At 20 years old, Raheem Sterling is one of those players, but Hodgson does not think the Liverpool forward will go to the tournament, particularly when Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has complained of the player feeling tired this season.

"Technically I think he is available but I think Gareth has made it clear already that he regards him as too much of an established senior player and I'm pretty certain Liverpool wouldn't be too happy with that," Hodgson said.

There was no place in the senior squad for Danny Ings, Charlie Austin, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose when it was announced on Thursday.

Daniel Sturridge and Kyle Walker return after injury, but Rickie Lambert dropped out of the squad after failing to nail down a first-team place at Liverpool.

With Ben Foster injured, Hodgson has named only two goalkeepers - Joe Hart and Fraser Forster - in his 24-man party for the Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley and the friendly in Turin.

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