England’s wing men Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young are confident there is enough firepower in the side to share the scoring burden if Harry Kane’s hot streak ever cools down.
Trippier and Young were charged with providing the width, and the crosses, in England’s 2-1 victory over Tunisia and each provided a corner which ended with Kane converting.
With 15 goals in 25 appearances – including a record of 10 in 10 during Gareth Southgate’s managerial reign – The Tottenham forward is out on his own as the Three Lions’ danger man in Russia.
The rest of the starting XI at the Volgograd Arena boast just 12 between them, including seven from Young’s previous incarnation as an attacker.
Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli all have superior records at club level and have been backed to start chipping in soon after a handful of chances went begging in Volgograd.
“If Harry doesn’t score we’ve got players who can,” said Tripper.
“We’re one team over here and we know we’ve got quality all over the pitch. We’ve got Marcus Rashford, Raheem, Dele, Ruben (Loftus-Cheek), they’ve had fine seasons, Jesse has as well…Vards (Jamie Vardy).
“They’ve had excellent seasons for their clubs and hopefully in this tournament they can provide some for us.”
Young, fresh from his first World Cup appearance at the age of 32, was singing from the same hymn sheet.
“I think you need goals from all over the pitch and I think that’s what we’ll be looking to do,” he said.
“You want a major goalscorer, a striker that’s going to take chances, but we’ve got that in abundance around the team with Vards, Welbs (Danny Welbeck) and the kid Rashford.
“It’s not just the strikers, it’s the midfielders as well. We saw Jesse had a few chances, Raz (Sterling) had a few chances as well. There’s plenty of goals I’ve seen all over this team and I think if everyone’s chipping in and pulling in the same direction it just sets us up right for the next game.”
There is no doubt who will be carrying the nation’s hopes when they take on unfancied Panama on Sunday and it is not just fans who feel better about life when Kane is on the field.
“If things are not working he’s got a big voice in the dressing room, everyone listens to him,” said Trippier.
“He has a presence. When he’s with you, you just feed off him. He lifts you when he’s around, he just lifts you. He dedicates his life to football. He’s so professional.”