Harry Kane happy with Tottenham Hotspur’s progress, but knows they must win trophies
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Spurs forward delighted to put on a show in front of some sporting legends and aiming to be alongside them one day
Harry Kane feels yesterday’s emphatic victory over Liverpool shows Tottenham Hotspur have progressed again since last season – but he says they will continue to be underrated until they win trophies.
Despite being involved in the title race in each of the last two seasons, some felt the Lilywhites might be left behind this term - particularly by the big-spending Manchester clubs.
Nonetheless Mauricio Pochettino’s side are now one point better off than they were at this stage last season, after the Argentinian’s first victory over Liverpool as Spurs manager – and they have moved level on points with second-placed Manchester United ahead of a trip at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“People will always have this little doubt about us until we start winning things,” said Kane. “It doesn’t bother us, we don’t think about it too much.
“It’s a big game next week. Of course Man City are out in front at the moment but there are a lot of good teams. The top six are so strong.
“Performances like this [against Liverpool], winning games like this, is something we maybe didn’t do as well last year, so if we can continue that this year it will be good.
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“With United dropping points [against Huddersfield on Saturday] it gave us a chance to catch them up, and next week is going to be a massive game that we’re looking forward to.
“We have a lot of tough games coming up so we have to recover well, keep going and performances like this will only help us.
“We started very well, very fast and that was the game plan. We got ahead early, scored two good goals and from then on we were good.
“Dele [Alli]’s goal helped us settle just before half time and from then on it was fantastic. All in all it was a fantastic result and one we can build confidence from.”
Kane struck twice against Liverpool and has now scored 45 goals in 40 matches for club and country in 2017, while netting 17 times in 16 games so far this season.
Such a strike-rate is usually associated with the game’s top men, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and Kane said: “That’s what I want to do. I’ve told you before, at some stage I want to be the best player in the world and to do that you have to be up there with these players.
“They set the standards, Ronaldo and Messi, so for the rest of us it’s about trying to catch them and get up there.
“The numbers are good, but for me it’s more important to be winning these big games against big teams. It shows we’re coming together as a team and getting better. That’s the most important thing.
“We’ll see where we finish at the end of the year but it’s always my aim to be up there with the very best.”
Kane was able to meet another of the game’s greats before yesterday’s match - Diego Maradona, who witnessed Spurs’ triumph first-hand and had a catch-up with his former room-mate Mauricio Pochettino, following their time together with Newell’s Old Boys.
“He’s got great energy, he’s a great guy,” said Kane. “He’s one of the best No10s ever so it was great for him to be there.
“He didn’t speak much English and was just speaking in Spanish so I didn’t really understand what he was saying, but he was very energetic and he said some nice compliments, not just to me but to the team and the manager.
“Everyone would probably be in awe of him. It was great to be in the company of someone like that. What a player he was, and I can only learn from someone like him.
“That’s what it’s about - meeting these people, just feeling their good positive vibes and using that in my game, taking it onto the pitch, enjoying it out there, enjoying the big occasion and just putting out your best.
“Maradona’s still argued to be the best of all time, so to have him there and watch us play well was important.”
NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant – who spent his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers - was also in attendance at Wembley and met some of Tottenham’s players.
Bryant said: “It was entertaining, high-scoring and it’s exactly what they (Spurs) need to get their engines revved up again.
“Teams have been playing back on them quite a bit and as a result they’ve been stuck in the mud a little bit. This is the momentum they need to get things going, but we’ll see.
“I grew up in Italy - football is like a religion. It’s always been in my blood. When I first moved to Italy, they put me as a keeper because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.
“At six or seven years old, I had these really long arms and gangly legs, so they just said ‘you play keeper’. I said ‘what do I do?’ and they said ‘just stop the ball!’.
“After a while they moved me to striker, because I was pretty good at bringing the ball out of the air.”
Asked whether he or Kane is the better forward, Bryant replied: “Harry! If you want to put your money on someone, you put it on Harry.”
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