Tottenham striker Harry Kane has admitted falling below his own high standards this season but said he welcomes the intense public scrutiny of his game.
Kane ended a five-game goalless run for club and country when he put his side ahead from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win at Brighton — a result that also ended a three-game losing streak for Spurs.
He converted a first-half penalty in typically cool fashion to take him level with Jermain Defoe on 143 goals for the club.
The fitness and form of the England captain has been a trending topic in recent weeks, with suggestions he has looked jaded, but he seemed closer to his best at Brighton.
“I would 100 percent rather have the focus than not have it,” Kane said of the analysis of his form by fans and media.
“I have scored three goals this season, which is not terrible. Obviously when you set standards in other seasons and other games, people will talk if you do not reach them and I am the first to analyse my game and see what I could do better.
“Of course, I feel I could have done better in most games this season. Brighton was probably the first game I was truly happy with my all-round performance.”
The 25-year-old said strikers are under the microscope more than other players.
“As a striker, you go through good spells, bad spells,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to work hard for the team, to do a good shift for the team. I am always pleased to score.”
Kane said the Tottenham players are in good physical shape despite the demands of the World Cup.
“A lot of us played in the World Cup and a lot of people have been talking about that but we all feel fit and sharp,” he said.
“It is important we proved that. A lot of people speak about tiredness and fatigue but we all feel fine. We all feel good.”