Harry Kane backing Tottenham Hotspur to cope with favourites tag against Juventus in the Champions League
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 March 2018
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The Lilywhites were underdogs before the first leg, but after a 2-2 draw in Turin, they need to handle the pressure on Wednesday night at Wembley
Harry Kane says Tottenham Hotspur must handle the pressure of being marginal favourites as they prepare for the second leg of their Champions League duel with Juventus.
Spurs have been underdogs for much of the tournament so far, having been placed in a group with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund and then drawn against last season’s finalists Juventus in the last 16.
The Lilywhites certainly appeared to be in trouble when they fell 2-0 behind in the opening 10 minutes of their first-leg clash in Turin last month.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side battled back to earn a 2-2 draw, meaning a goalless stalemate or a 1-1 tie in Wednesday’s second leg at Wembley would take them into the quarter-finals.
Kane said: “We probably weren’t the favourites before but now people are looking at us after that performance at Juventus and saying we should go through. We’ve got to cope with that and see how we come through it.
“They’re still one of the best teams in Europe. They’ve probably been in this situation before and they’ve got very experienced players. We’re not getting carried away.
“We know we played well [in Turin] and on another day we could have won there - but they’ll feel they could play better as well.
“We know it’s a big game. Champions League nights are what we all want to be involved in, and this is a chance to get into the quarter-finals. Of course there’ll be a bit more added pressure and maybe more nerves, but that’s why we play football.
“It would be massive [as a statement if we won]. We made a big step in that aspect with what we did in the group, and now we’ve got to try and do it against the big teams consistently.
“We’re in great form and have played against a lot of great teams recently and done well. It’s important we carry that on. Going through would give us a lot more confidence.”
Juventus need to score to have any hope of winning the tie, but Kane says Spurs have no intention of sitting back to defend from the start.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “The way we play and the way the manager sets us up in every game, we’re always on the front foot, always pressing, always playing attacking football. I know that’s what he’ll say on Wednesday and we’ll try to win the game.
“We know they need to score but we can’t go into the game with any negative thoughts. We’ve got to try and win the game. That’s the way the gaffer always wants to play.
“If it gets to 80 minutes and it’s still 0-0 then we might have a different approach but from the start we’ll press high and try to create as many chances as possible.
“We’ve had some great results here at Wembley in recent weeks and the fans have been great. It’s going to be a full house and the atmosphere is amazing once we get going. Hopefully they can cheer us on and make it difficult for them.”
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