England captain Harry Kane revealed he has been feeling the strain of a challenging year in which he lost in the European Championship final at home and also failed to secure a move away from Tottenham.
England lost to Italy on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final at Wembley in July.
Also, Kane has scored just once in 10 Premier League appearances for Tottenham this season, looking distinctly tired.
The 28-year-old has done better for England, netting three times in four matches. But he admits the frustration of the Euro final has been hard to overcome.
"It's always hard when you finish a major tournament. The last two tournaments we've got to a semi-final then a final, and it takes a lot out of you," Kane said on Thursday on the eve of the World Cup qualifier against Albania.
"Losing a European final for your country at Wembley will probably stay with me the rest of my career. You never really get over those things, unless we go and win a major tournament.
"It's not just physically, it's mentally as well. Then before you know it you're back playing in the Premier League so I guess you never really have a chance to take it all in and learn from what happened."
Kane also found himself in the middle of a transfer saga for the first time in his career. With Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refusing to accept City's reported £100 million ($133m) bid, Kane returned late to pre-season training after an extended holiday before finally announcing his stay at the club.
"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 about focusing," Kane added.
England, who finish group play against San Marino on Monday, need four points to secure first place and a spot in next year’s tournament in Qatar..