1:10 Harry Redknapp is excited about England's young players and has tipped them to win a major tournament Harry Redknapp is excited about Englands young players and has tipped them to win a major tournament Harry Redknapp believes England will win a major championship within the next eight years.
England reached the semi-finals of last years World Cup, their best performance at a major tournament since Euro 1996, and Redknapp is backing Gareth Southgates side to end the nations long wait for silverware.
England winning the Nations League would eclipse the achievement of reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia, says captain Harry Kane.
The Chelsea teenager was promoted from the under-21s after Luke Shaw pulled out through injury while the West Ham midfielder got his first call-up after switching allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
The Three Lions face the Netherlands in Junes Nations League last four, with the winners then meeting either Portugal or Switzerland in the final.
“To have a chance to win a trophy in an England shirt does not happen not very often,” said the Tottenham striker.
“He has been great. He wants to take full advantage of his opportunities and it looked like he was enjoying it out there,” he told a press conference.
England won the World Cup in 1966 – their only major international trophy – and have a chance of winning the first Nations League tournament after finishing top of a qualifying group that also included 2010 world champions Spain and 2018 runners-up Croatia.
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During the 2018 World Cup, England reached the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years, before losing 2-1 after extra-time to Croatia in the semi-finals.
England must navigate tricky European Qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro before they take on the Netherlands in the Nations League, but Kane is in positive mood for what the future holds for their promising young squad.
Kane, who won the golden boot for being the tournaments top scorer with six goals, added: “Hopefully, we can win some silverware. Of course, 2018 was fantastic but for me, the main thing is the team and we want to win things. We want to make fans happy and be proud.
“People now expect us to do well and before the World Cup there was no expectation, so its great that weve turned that around.
“Were the only team from the World Cup semi-finals to have got through their Nations League group, and we had probably one of the hardest groups.
The 18-year-old midfielder has experienced even less game time in the Premier League than Hudson-Odoi this season – 98 minutes across ten substitute appearances – but has six goals and two assists in 23 games in all competitions for City.
“That was big for us, to prove that it wasnt just a one-off, that this team were really building for something special.”
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Before England play the Nations League semi-finals, they have their first two 2020 European Championship qualifiers – against the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday and then away in Montenegro on Monday, 25 March.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18, is in the England squad, despite not starting a Premier League match and Kane has praised the player.
“He has been great over the last couple of days,” said Kane. “Were excited to have him. Everyone is fighting for places and he sees this as an opportunity for himself.”
The teenager has played 19 games for Chelsea this season, scoring five times, but his Premier League action has been restricted to six substitute appearances, totalling only 119 minutes of action.
Hudson-Odoi was part of the England side that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 but had not represented the country at Under-21 level before being drafted into the full squad.
He described his week as being “a crazy experience” but Kane has been impressed with the player after lining up against him in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup in January.
“We played against him in the cup and he put in a good performance – that was the first time Id seen him play. He looks sharp and hungry,” added Kane.
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“Callum has had a taste of cup competitions, a little bit in the Premier League and Im sure he wants to play and gain that experience. Everyone knows he is a fantastic player and Ive no doubt he has the ability to play at the highest level.”
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Fridays match could also see an England debut for West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice, who opted to play for the Three Lions despite making three non-competitive appearances for the Republic of Ireland.
“Im sure it was a tough one for him, and Im sure he took the time to talk with his family and close friends,” said Kane of the 20-year-olds choice.
There was some surprise about his omission from the 25-man squad named last week and Southgate had no hesitation in turning to his former under-21 captain after Fabian Delph, John Stones and Ruben Loftus-Cheek pulled out of the squad.
“The decision he made is one he thinks is best for his future. He will give everything for this country and thats what we want.
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“The thing I like about him is, as a defensive midfielder, he looks to play forward as quickly as possible. Its easy to play side-to-side but with Declan his first thought is to go forward – Im a big fan of him.”
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At a news conference on Tuesday, Kane, who was born in London and has 35 caps for England, revealed he had been eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland also.
He said: “My nan and grandad were Irish on my dads side of the family so I had that decision, but it never came about as I started playing in the Premier League and the England call-up came not long after that.
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“There were always rumours but I never said no to anyone. I dont know if they spoke to my agent but I always wanted to play for England and that was my dream. Thankfully that worked out.”
The 2020 European Championships will be held in 12 different countries, with Wembley hosting three group games, a last-16 tie, both semi-finals and the final.
“Its a great incentive and the opportunity to play in a European Championship where quite a few games are at Wembley is exciting and gives us a real hunger to qualify,” added Kane, whose England side will also play qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
“People expect us to qualify and they think its an easy group but its never that easy and we have to be professional. We always back ourselves but we still have to do it – its important we start well and then we can build on that.
“Its going to be a tough game against the Czech Republic. We have to get off to a good start and weve spoken about starting off the competition well. Their great strength is their unity, how they work without the ball.”