England sought energy with Harry Kane substitution vs. Denmark

Hamilton: England 'running through treacle' (0:51)

Tom Hamilton says England are not living up to the high expectations seen before the start of Euro 2024. (0:51)

Gareth Southgate said he substituted England captain and leading goalscorer Harry Kane during Thursday's 1-1 Group C draw against Denmark to inject more "energy" into his team's forward line.

Kane, England's all-time top scorer with 64, netted in the first half against the Danes in Frankfurt to open his scoring account at Euro 2024, but the Bayern Munich forward contributed little else before being replaced by Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins on 69 minutes.

The former Tottenham striker was also ineffective in Sunday's 1-0 win against Serbia and England coach Southgate hinted that he is still being affected by a recent back injury, saying he took him off to boost his team's chances of scoring.

"Our front line put a lot of work in just the other day [against Serbia] and Harry has only had one 90 minutes in the last five or six weeks," Southgate said. "We could have stayed with it, but we thought we needed to get speed in the front line at that moment to get energy to be able to press was important.

"So that was the decision we took with all of the substitutes basically. We played more with a No.10 today and that meant that when Kane was coming low, we had players running past him a little bit to be more in contact with him.

"We also pressed slightly differently, which meant that Phil Foden was starting a little bit more in-field, but our press wasn't intense enough and it meant that our back line had a problem with the players dropping either side of our pivots.

"So that's something that has to be better. With the profile of players that we've got, we don't feel the way to press is really high up the pitch. I don't think that's the physical level of the team at the moment either, but we've got to find a way of being more compact and more difficult to play against than we found in the last three halves of football."

Kane, meanwhile, said that England have to be better collectively after claiming that the team are not putting enough pressure on their opponents.

"We can be better with and without the ball," he said. "I think the sign of a good team is not being at your best and still getting a result.

"I think it's something we've got to get better at. I think we're starting games well, but when the teams are dropping deeper we're not quite sure how to get the pressure on and who's going.

"We're all but qualified and that's the number one objective. I'm sure there'll be loads of noise and disappointment back home, but it's time to stay calm."

England are still top of Group C on four points and can advance as winners if they beat Slovenia on June 25, or even with a draw if Denmark and Serbia play to a stalemate on the same day.