Harry Kane believes he did well to deal with the summer speculation over his future but admits the pain of losing the Euro 2020 final may live with him forever.
The England captain was heavily linked with a move from Tottenham to Manchester City ahead of the new season and was absent from the Spurs side at the start of the campaign.
Since returning to the side, Kane has managed just one goal in his 10 Premier League appearances and has seen his form questioned for the first time in years.
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He has still been scoring for England and said he is not making any excuses for his slow start at Tottenham.
“Well, I think from my point of view, I think it’s easy for people to try and look for an excuse when maybe you’re not on form or you’re not scoring as many as you usually do,” he said ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Albania.
“That’s where it’s important for my own self-belief, my own mentality, just to work harder and that’s always been my approach.
“Whether I’m doing really well or the goals aren’t quite coming, it’s just to train hard, work hard for the team and that’s what I’ve done my whole career.
“Obviously, there’s not been many spells, for example, for the club not scoring as many as I’ve scored so far this year.
“But in terms of an England calendar year, it’s been a great year for me personally and I hope to continue that tomorrow night.”
The murmurs of a move to City emerged after Kane had captained England to the final of Euro 2020 – where they lost on a penalty shoot-out to Italy.
“I think it was tough in terms of that loss,” he said. “Losing a European final with your country, at Wembley, that will stay with me probably for the rest of my career.
“You never really get over those things, unless we hopefully go and win some major tournaments. That always stings.
“There was a lot of talk and speculation over the summer. The first real time that’s happened to me in my career. But that’s part and parcel of being a big player, having to deal with those situations, and I think I dealt with it well.
“Now it’s just about focusing. There’s still a long way to go at club level. Now it’s just about finishing these two games strong and finishing what’s been a great calendar year with England.”