Cole Palmer's reaction to Roy Keane's praise proves Harry Kane was right about England

Cole Palmer of England  and Gareth Southgate England coach during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between England and Slovenia
-Credit: (Image: Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

Cole Palmer has embraced the positive commentary from Roy Keane following a commendable 20-minute substitute appearance for England, stating Harry Kane was right in believing the squad is aware of their Euro 2024 assessments.

Despite a lacklustre performance from the Three Lions culminating in a goalless draw with Slovenia, securing top spot in Group C, Palmer's contribution was spotlighted by Manchester United legend Keane. The esteemed pundit praised Palmer's "X-factor" and lauded him as "an amazing player" expressing his enjoyment in watching the Chelsea star play and highlighting the burgeoning pressure on Gareth Southgate to include the Premier League's Young Player of the Season in England's starting line-up next time around.

In response, Palmer conveyed his gratitude for such high praise: "It's always nice to hear, especially from someone like Roy Keane who played internationally and at Manchester United," he said. "It's up to the manager now what he wants to do. I'm full of belief. After the season I've had, I don't see why I should be down. I'll just try and take every chance and make an impact."

Keane's optimistic comments contrast with the overarching negative critique from pundits towards England's outings, a point of contention that has drawn the ire of skipper Kane. Following their 1-1 stalemate against Denmark, Kane urged the media to seek positives and "build the team up" in defiance of Gary Lineker's scathing review calling England's performance "s***."

That response confirmed England's players are taking in the criticism from journalists and former internationals. Arsenal's Declan Rice echoed his captain's sentiments, calling for a more positive slant from the media, hinting that the detrimental focus is exaggerated given their progression as group leaders.

"I don't know why we feel like it [England's Euro 2024 performance] is such a negative thing. We're talking like we're going out of the tournament here," Rice told ITV. "We are top of the group. We need to stay positive, stay upbeat. Let's have some positivity going into games. Let's give players the best confidence in the world."

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Jarrod Bowen also voiced his astonishment at Lineker's critique but acknowledged that "there's only so much you want to read before you either end up replying or saying something you don't want to say".

The West Ham star admitted that the scrutiny "can affect your mood, and noted how it must particularly impact the less seasoned members of the team".

Few might have predicted it would be ex-Republic of Ireland ace Keane to lend England a morale boost. His response to Palmer's assertive display against Slovenia might just signal a shift towards a more optimistic phase in England's Euro 2024 journey.