Dominic Calvert-Lewin says there’s tons more to return from England’s attack and is convinced scoreless skipper Harry Kane’s “undeniable quality” will come to the fore at Euro 2020.
The Three Lions set up Tuesday’s mouthwatering last-16 tie against Germany at Wembley by topping Group D without getting out of third.
England’s miserly defense didn’t concede during an unbeaten pool stage during which Raheem Sterling’s efforts against Croatia and therefore the Czech Republic represented their only goals.
Gareth Southgate and his coaching staff are focused in recent days on unlocking the potential of exciting attacking options that Calvert-Lewin is certain will come good.
“I think from an ingenious perspective there are tons more to return from us,” the 2017 Under-20 World Cup-winning frontman said.
“I think first and foremost in tournament football it’s important that you simply don’t concede goals because more often than not the margins are quite small so I feel that keeping a clean sheet is extremely important.
“But then obviously two 1-0s, you continue to get the three points but we’d wish to be a touch more creative and make more opportunities.
“I think it’s just important that we still repose on what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been doing in training and what we’ve been performing on.
“It’s important that we stick with our identity and play our game and not quite cater for love or money else.”
Calvert-Lewin, needless to say, has been playing second fiddle to skipper Kane during the tournament.
The 27-year-old is subject to rife speculation about his Tottenham future immediately and therefore the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner has yet to seek out internet this summer.
Asked if he saw last season’s Premier League top scorer and assist maker coming good at the Euros, Calvert-Lewin said: “Of course.
“You know he’s got undeniable quality and that I think he leads the road (well), he’s the captain, so he’s probably the primary person people check out to quite criticize.
“But, for me, he’s done it consistently for a couple of seasons now so I’ve got a little question that he’ll perform on the large stage.”
There would be no better time for Kane to intensify than against Germany.
The scars of previous tournament disappointments against Die Mannschaft aren’t a burden for this young squad and there’s little chance of them underestimating Tuesday’s opponents.
“They’re well-oiled and that they play a particular system more often than not,” Calvert-Lewin said.
“I suppose there’s big history with England and Germany playing against one another so maybe it’s that that folks think.
“But we’re not too concerned thereupon. It’s another game of football, which we’re getting to go and check out and win.”
Among those defeats came 25 years ago, when Germany broke English hearts at Wembley by winning the Euro 96 semi-final penalty shootout.
Current Three Lions boss Southgate missed the crucial spot-kick but has the prospect to exact some revenge and continue his impressive work as England manager.
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has spoken before that match about the governing body’s desire to increase the 50-year-old’s contract beyond the top of the 2022 World Cup.
“I think he’s had a huge impact,” Calvert-Lewin said of Southgate’s work as a manager. “I think he’s modernized the way that England plays.
“He’s incorporated (young players) – you check out the age range that’s within the team now, there’s a young player but also experienced at an equivalent time.
“I think that the design that we play now’s far more modern and he quite encourages us to play with freedom.
“My instructions once I first came into the England set-up was continue doing what I’ve been doing for my club here, and that’s all you got to take confidence from that.”
But while Calvert-Lewin was forthcoming about his international manager, the Everton striker gave little away when asked about reports that Rafael Benitez is going to be succeeding Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.
“In all honesty, I don’t know,” he said. “We don’t know who the manager is yet, do we?
“So on behalf of me, I haven’t been concentrating an excessive amount of thereon, not letting it take my attention far away from playing for my country and being ready for the sport on Tuesday.”