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 By PA Sport

Ryan Bertrand: Harry Kane should succeed Wayne Rooney as captain

Ryan Bertrand has backed Harry Kane to succeed Wayne Rooney as the next permanent England captain.

Kane was given the armband for England's games against France and Scotland earlier this year but Liverpool's Jordan Henderson was captain for the recent victories over Slovakia and Malta.

Manager Gareth Southgate is yet to appoint a permanent successor to Rooney but he is expected to make a decision before next summer's World Cup in Russia.

"[The captiancy] is completely down to the manager. 'H' [Harry Kane] gets my vote," Bertrand said. "He is in great form. Him coming to the England camp in such fine form is a massive boost for the whole squad.

"What we are blessed with is we have a lot of leaders in the camp now and whoever is tasked with that duty on the night is deserving of that."

England look to secure qualification for the World Cup in Russia this month as they face a double-header against Slovenia and Lithuania, and could seal their spot at Wembley on Thursday.

"It's not over, we are very much of a positive mindset. The work isn't finished and we will try to get the six points," Bertrand said. "All games internationally are tough. Slovenia will need the points but we need points as well."

Harry Kane scored 13 goals for club and county in September.
Harry Kane scored 13 goals for club and county in September.

Bertrand wants to get the job done at Wembley rather than waiting to go to Lithuania.

"For me personally, with a fan's head on, it would be nice to qualify in front of our fans, but we still have work to do," he said. 

One player not in the frame against Lithuania is Kane's teammate Dele Alli, who is serving a one-match ban following a gesture he made in the win over Slovakia last month.

But Bertrand reckons there is enough depth to cover the Tottenham midfielder's loss.

"Dele is a fantastic player, he would definitely be one on the team sheet that the opposition highlights and wants to lockdown, so that will be a miss," he said. "But as a nation we are blessed with amazing talent and I'm sure whoever comes in in place of him will do an amazing job."

The behaviour of international sportsmen and women has been brought into the spotlight lately after England cricketer Ben Stokes was arrested.

Asked of the pressures of playing and living in the limelight, Bertrand added: "It comes with the game. Once you make that pledge to commit, you have to live by it. We are aware of our responsibilities 24/7.

"It is a way of life. You are not just representing yourself but your club and country and there's great pressure."

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