Gareth Southgate feared having ‘Rooney’s family on the phone’ after San Marino decision

England squad for Albania and San Marino World Cup qualifiers

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England manager Gareth Southgate jokingly admitted that he feared a phone call from Wayne Rooney and his family if he had left Harry Kane on the pitch any longer against San Marino. The Tottenham striker helped himself to four goals against heavily over-matched opposition, which saw him creep even closer to Rooney’s all-time England goals record. 

It was a ‘fill your boots’ kind of evening for England, who predictably ran riot in San Marino. 

Harry Maguire built on his goal against Albania to open the scoring after five minutes, becoming the highest-scoring central defender in England history. 

From there on, the floodgates opened, and Kane bagged himself four goals before the half-time interval. 

Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham, Tyrone Mings and Emile Smith Rowe also got amongst the action, while an own-goal and a red card compounded a miserable night for the hosts. 

Having allowed Kane to cause havoc for over an hour, Southgate finally hauled him off to be replaced by Reece James. 

As Kane’s England tally flew up to 48, just five behind Rooney, the boss admitted after the game that the former Manchester United hero would have been watching on anxiously. 

“If we left him on another half an hour, we would have had Wayne Rooney’s family on the phone,” he told ITV.

“He is a phenomenal goalscorer, we wanted to give him the chance tonight and he took it well.”

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