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Ollie Watkins addresses Harry Kane comparison after matchwinner in England runout

Ollie Watkins addresses Harry Kane comparison after matchwinner in England runout

Ollie Watkins admitted he can’t pull out the same box of tricks as Harry Kane after filling in for England’s rested captain to score the winner against Australia.

Watkins returned to the England set-up this month for the first time since March 2022 — a reflection of his excellent start to the season at Aston Villa.

His second-half goal gave England a 1-0 win over the Aussies at Wembley in Friday night’s friendly in which very few of Gareth Southgate’s inexperienced line-up besides Watkins took their chance to impress.

“I’ve got a completely different playing style to Harry”, Watkins said when asked whether he is pushing England’s all-time leading goalscorer for a starting berth.

“He can drop deep and play some unbelievable long passes. That’s not my game; I can’t do that. My strengths are running in behind and stretching [the defence].

“I can only do what I can do. Whenever I put on the shirt, I try and do the best I can for my country.”

Watkins scored on his last appearance for England against the Ivory Coast 18 months ago and was on the scoresheet again on Friday night.

“I envisioned it all today”, he said. “I was itching to get on the pitch tonight, so I’m delighted I got my goal and it helped the team to win.

“My mindset has changed since the boss Unai Emery has come in at Villa. He’s filled me a lot with confidence. I’ve definitely improved in these last 18 months since I was last in the England camp and I think it shows in my form.”

The goal came from Jack Grealish’s initial volley, which Watkins tapped home as it approached the back post.

Watkins said: “I thought it was going in, but he said it was going wide so that makes it even better that I’ve guided it in. They’re the best goals — tap-ins — but the hardest to get.”