London, Sep 10 (IANS) He holds the record for scoring the most goals for England, but star striker Wayne Rooney is still apprehensive that his place in the national team is under threat from young forward Harry Kane.
Kane, who scored 31 times in the English Premier League (EPL) for Tottenham Hotspur last season, is in fine form at the moment.
The 22-year-old has also found the net regularly for England and Rooney admitted that Kane and the other youngsters in the national team motivate him to keep performing at a high level.
“I just want to keep playing. I understand there are a lot of young lads in this team and I don’t want to give my place up. I want to play. I come and work harder every time and I want to make it hard for the manager to leave me out over the next couple of years,” Rooney was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Wednesday.
“You have to fear for your place: I train every day as if my place is on the line. When you get older and have played a lot of games you become more aware of the need (to maintain standards).”
Rooney also felt that Kane has all the qualities required to be the next star performer for the England team.
“He (Kane) has the character to handle the pressure that will come his way. He is level-headed. Nowadays the young lads are made differently. It doesn’t seem to faze them that much. He has the right people around him and he will be a really good player for years to come,” he opined.
“I’m sure he’ll be a great player for England and score a lot of goals.”
The 29-year-old however, warned that Kane will have keep focussing on the basics and not let periods of poor form rattle him in order to achieve success in the long term.
“I always remember when I was younger, going through stages of not scoring, I always tried to do too much. The thing to do is to keep it simple, keep doing the things you know. The chances will come and so will the goals,” the Manchester United striker stated.
“You have to understand he’s only a young lad — he’s only played one season in the Premier League. You’ll have to be patient. You can see in training he is a quality player, he’s a goalscorer,” Rooney added.
“If he keeps doing the simple things and doing what he does best, he’ll score plenty of goals.”