Harry Kane sets sights on next England goalscoring landmark before future target of Wayne Rooney's record

Kane increased his England tally to 25 with a hat-trick against Bulgaria - REUTERS
Kane increased his England tally to 25 with a hat-trick against Bulgaria - REUTERS

Harry Kane has targeted hitting 30 England goals before focusing on beating Wayne Rooney’s all-time scoring record.

And Kane has also insisted he has never dived in his career after responding to accusations he tried to cheat in the North London derby by firing a hat-trick for England against Bulgaria.

Kane now has 25 goals in 40 England appearances, which is 11 more than Rooney had at the same stage of his international career.

Rooney went on to become the country’s all-time leading scorer on 53 goals and Kane is now 14th in the list after overtaking Sir Geoff Hurst on Saturday night.

Tuesday night’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo offers Kane the chance to surpass Bryan Robson, who scored 26 goals for England, and David Platt, on 27, but it is the 30 figure that the 26-year-old has his eye on.

Hitting 30 England goals would take Kane past Frank Lampard, who is ninth on the all-time scoring list, and level with Sir Tom Finney, Alan Shearer and Nat Lofthouse.

Asked about reaching 25 goals and surpassing Hurst, Kane said: “It’s a great milestone to reach, something I’m very proud of.

“But I’m always looking forward for the next one, the next set of goals and to see if I can get to 30 and how quick I can get to 30, and go from there. There’s another game on Tuesday, where I feel we will be able to create chances, so, hopefully, I can get a couple more.”

On the prospect of eventually beating Rooney’s record, Kane added: “For me, it’s always about improving and getting better so if I get to that tally and I’m still young enough to keep playing then it will be about progressing and scoring more.

“There’s a lot that can happen and I’ve got to make sure I try to stay injury free and that I keep my place in the England team because we’ve got a lot of competition for places, so that’s all I’m focused on. If we’re a few years down the line and I’m getting close, then it will be great.

“It’s obviously something that when I score for England, people bring up. But it’s still a long way off and there’s a lot that can happen. Hopefully, I keep scoring goals and we keep winning games, that’s the main thing. I’m in a good place with the players I’m playing with, they are going to create chances, they are going to give me opportunities, so I’ve just got to make sure that I’m ready to put them away.”

Kane was accused of diving to try to win a penalty for Tottenham in the North London derby draw with Arsenal, having been booked for the offence against Wolverhampton Wanderers last season.

Asked if he has ever dived, Kane said: “Never and, hopefully, I don’t have to. I said after the Arsenal game it’s a 50/50 one, similar to the one we got given against us at Wembley the year before. It happens in football.

Kane was accused of diving against Arsenal last weekend - Credit: AP
Kane was accused of diving against Arsenal last weekend Credit: AP

“I am someone who uses his body well, which as a striker you have to do at every level. 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 about winning games.”

Kane also received the support of his Tottenham and England team-mate Danny Rose, who described the striker as the best professional he has ever worked with.

“I have not seen the debate about Harry diving,” said Rose. “But he is not one to pay attention to that stuff and people should focus on his goal record, what he offers to any team across the world and 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 he is a leader who will give everything. It is a privilege to be with him.

“Harry is mentally very strong. He is strong willed, for sure he will never pay attention to anything negative said about him and in the same way he will never get carried away with the plaudits so he is literally the ultimate professional, the best professional I have ever trained with or played with. His record for club and country is no coincidence. It is typical Harry just to respond in the way that he did by scoring a hat-trick.”

In terms of what makes Kane the perfect professional, Rose added: “He does not drink, he does not go out. He does extra every day and works on his left foot and right foot. And when things are not going right at our club, he is the first one to say what we need to do in the changing room. He is literally the first player in and one of the last out, and is a great privilege to play with him.”

Rose was at Tottenham when Kane was struggling to break into the first team and the left-back paid tribute to former manager Tim Sherwood for being the first man to recognise his ability.

“Harry was always practising and always doing extra work when AVB (Andre Villas-Boas) was the manager and before him Harry Redknapp,” said Rose. “When Tim got to be manager, it got to the point that he was doing so well in training, I don’t think Tim could ignore him anymore.

“Tim was – and is – his biggest fan and I know for a fact even when Tim was technical director at the club, he was pushing for Harry to be playing. So when someone puts in the hours at the training ground, it is not a surprise to anyone that he is enjoying the career he is having and what is scary is that he is only 26 and, hopefully, his best years are still to come.”