Harry Kane admits: A Tottenham title triumph now ‘looks unlikely’
Harry Kane admits it “looks unlikely” that Tottenham will win the Premier League title after their costly 1-1 draw against West Brom last night, but he insists the Lilywhites will keep fighting until the end.
Spurs looked set to move within five points of Leicester again on Monday, having taken the lead after Craig Dawson’s first-half own goal.
However, the Albion defender scored at the right end 17 minutes from time and Mauricio Pochettino’s home side were unable to respond, leaving them seven points behind the leaders – who haveonly lost three league games all season - with just three matches left.
It means the Foxes can take the crown this Sunday when they visit Manchester United and, although the trip to Old Trafford is by no means an easy one, Kane concedes that Spurs are living in hope rather than having any real expectation of a dramatic turnaround.
“It’s not impossible but it looks unlikely, the way the season’s gone so far,” he said. “If they lose the next game, you just never know, with the pressure. Obviously it makes it a lot lot harder now that we haven’t won this, but it’s not in our hands. It’s in Leicester’s hands and, if they go and win, then they win. We’ve just got to go and win our remaining three games and see where it takes us.
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“We’re obviously disappointed. I felt we’d done enough to win the game [against West Brom], especially in the first half we had a lot of chances, and even in the second half we hit the post. The second half just wasn’t up to our normal standards.
“We’ve got to put teams away. We’ve had a few like that this season where teams have come back to bite us, and it’s disappointing of course. But all we can do is move forward and do what we can against Chelsea [on Monday] and see what happens.
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“All we’re going to do is dust ourselves off and try to win the last three games and try to finish as high up with as many points as we can.
“It’s been a fantastic season so far so we can’t get too down about this. Obviously it’s a gutting feeling, we know we wanted to win this game, but there are still three games left – we can’t then just fold it in, we’ve got to keep fighting until the very end.”
For Spurs fans there is a sense of frustration that, while 15th-placed Swansea surrendered meekly away against Leicester on Sunday and lost 4-0, West Brom – who were 14th when they arrived at the Lane last night – battled as if their survival was at stake, with their manager Tony Pulis shouting himself hoarse on the side-line.
There was a hint that Kane had noticed the disparity when he commented “everyone seems to be putting in 110 per cent against us” – but the Spurs striker accepts the sides at the top of the table are there to be shot at, and that he and his team-mates must get used to certain frustrations if they are to maintain their progress.
“Obviously we’re becoming a very good team and teams below us or teams at the other end of the table want to come here and get a result, whether it’s a point or whatever, and they want to waste time a bit and get in front of the referee,” he said.
“But there’s nothing we can do about that, we’ve got to learn to cope with that. It’s experience, we’re a young side and that’s what we’ve got to learn from.
“If you want to be a top team in this league then you have to cope with that. We feel we’ve done well over the last few months to be honest, coping with that.
“It’s just one of those games. West Brom are a side where, if you give them a chance and if you don’t out them to bed, they’ll come back to bite you - and that’s what they’ve done.”
Tottenham will cross their fingers that Man United can do them a favour on Sunday and ensure they are still in the title race when they visit Chelsea on Monday.
Even then, history suggests Spurs may fall short, given they have been unable to win at Stamford Bridge since 1990.
But, earlier this month, the Lilywhites secured their first home win over United for 15 years, and Kane believes Pochettino’s current crop is well equipped to end the club’s hoodoo at the Bridge.
“I think we’ve been doing it all season,” he said. “I think people are starting to realise we’re not the team that just rolls over. We’re there to beat anyone.
“We feel we’re one of the best in this league, we feel we can beat anyone in this league – as I’ve said over the past six months – so we’ll go to Chelsea and try to win the game.”
While Guus Hiddink’s Blues sit ninth in the table and have little to play for, it has become abundantly clear that they will be treating next week’s London derby seriously, and would happily be the ones to end Spurs’ title dream.
Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard have both stated they don’t want Tottenham to win the league, and that they would prefer Leicester to take their crown.
Such comments have raised eyebrows, given that Chelsea are yet to face both sides and could yet have a say in the title race, but Kane said: “There’s nothing we can do about that.
“There’s a lot of people, a lot of neutrals, that want Leicester to go on and win it for one reason or another, but we feel we’re one of the best teams in this league. We’ve just got to do what we can do, we can’t control what other teams or other managers do. We’ve just got to face our opponents and try to get three points.
“It’s not down to us, that’s their own point of view, what they say is up to them. We can’t do anything about that.
“There’s been a few comments over the last few weeks, with players and managers saying they want Leicester to win, but that doesn’t affect the way we play - we’ve still got to go out there and do our job.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs