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England captain Harry Kane has revealed he preserved energy during the group stages to ensure he would be fresh for the tournament’s latter stages.

The Tottenham striker and Three Lions talisman struggled to make his mark in the group stages of Euro 2020, failing to score across the matches against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic.

Kane has been a player transformed in the knockout stages, scoring four goals in his three matches: a brace against Ukraine sandwiched between goals against Germany and Denmark.

Kane scooped the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup with six strikes but failed to score from open play in the knockout stages of the tournament – and did not find the net in the last four tie against Croatia.

Harry Kane and his England teammates celebrate the Euro 2020 semi final win over Denmark
(Image: UEFA via Getty Images)

The 27-year-old – who will aim to lead England to their first major title in 55 years – has explained he has learned from that experience in Russia.

Kane told reporters on Saturday: "I'd love to have scored three or four goals in the group stage, got off to a fantastic start and gone from there.

"But it was about the energy. I felt in the World Cup, with such an amazing start, scoring in the last minute against Tunisia, a lot of energy was used up because of the emotion.

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"Panama was the same. We had an amazing game, I scored a hat-trick and there was a lot of talk, a lot of mental energy [spent].

"Colombia was the same. Not just physically, but maybe mentally I lost a little bit towards the latter stages.

"So going into this one with more experience, it was just about not getting too carried away, whether I score or don't score.

"Obviously we were winning games which was the most important thing so it was just about staying in the moment, not getting carried away and knowing that as a player and as a team we were on the right track.

"Thankfully it's worked out pretty well and I guess that's all part of the learning curve of playing in major tournaments and gaining that experience. Hopefully I've got enough left to finish the job tomorrow."

Gareth Southgate’s skipper has now spoken of the squad’s desire to win the tournament and reward the support they have received throughout the competition.

Will Harry Kane lead England to the Euro 2020 title against Italy? Comment below

Kane added: "We have been knocking down barriers along the way but we started this tournament with an aim to win it and we have this opportunity tomorrow night.

"To see the fans on the street and the reception we had when we pulled up to the hotel and as we were leaving St George's Park, it shows us just how big of an occasion it is.

"In Russia we were over there and in our own bubble, we could see videos of what it was like at home but we couldn't really experience it ourselves.

"Even this camp we have been on to the next one, on to the next one, just focusing on the next game which we have done for the final, but it is great to see the reception we are getting.

"We know how much it means to the English fans all over the country, so we are proud to be representing them, hopefully we can do them proud tomorrow night."

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