Southgate: Kane understood being rested

England manager Gareth Southgate says his captain Harry Kane understood his decision to drop him to the bench in their final group stage match against Belgium.

Kane is leading the goal scoring charts at the tournament in Russia having netted five goals in the two games against Tunisia and Panama.

The Three Lions forward had told the media prior to their match with Belgium that he would like to maintain his goal scoring form at the World Cup, but Southgate decided against using the forward in the match.

The England captain was among the eight changes made by Southgate in their final group game, where they lost 1-0 to the Red Devils.

Southgate told a press conference: “I felt the need to sit with him but he was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. He totally understood, 100 per cent team first.

“He said: ‘Look, I know everyone says I want the Golden Boot. Of course it’s something I want to do. But the main thing is getting the team through the first knockout.

“He was excellent on that, showed real leadership and understanding of the big picture.”