LONDON - England's talismanic striker Harry Kane believes he and his international colleagues are an easy target for cheap jokes just over a month before he carries his nation's hopes at the World Cup.
Kane was widely mocked on social media even by a number of ex-professionals, fans and even England team-mate Jamie Vardy after claiming his side’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Stoke City last month, initially credited to Christian Eriksen.
He was then poked fun at by the official FA Cup Twitter account for his performance against Manchester United in the semi-final.
"The FA tweet was a silly tweet, we all know that,” Kane told The Telegraph. "I talked to the gaffer about it and all we said was ‘Would other countries do that to their players?’ Probably not."
Tottenham's Kane has scored 42 goals for club and country this season. However, he believes people are just waiting for him and England to disappoint once more at a major international tournament.
"It is easier nowadays maybe to ‘banter’ England players or take the mickey out of the England players. So if we don’t do well in the World Cup, then people can say 'We told you so.' But that is maybe a weaker mentality," he added.
Kane was back on the scoresheet as Spurs closed in on a top-four finish in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Watford on Monday to move to within four goals of Mohamed Salah in his quest for a third consecutive golden boot award.
His chase of the Egyptian has been hampered by a three-week injury absence with ankle ligament damage last month and a dip in form on his return.
However, Kane insists he is feeling fully fit ahead of the World Cup.
"The ankle is fine. The ankle is good. It was good to score against Watford and I had a couple of chances. I feel fine. I feel good. I am looking forward to the last three weeks.
"Every striker in every country wants to win the golden boot. I want to win at everything, whether it's the golden boot or every game. Even if it is just playing a game with my mates –- I want to win that. I am not afraid to say so."