Harry Kane: Spurs showed fighting spirit at Chelsea but should have controlled game better
Harry Kane believes Tottenham showed their fighting spirit in last night’s fiery derby clash against Chelsea – but he feels they should have controlled the game better as they threw away another lead.
Last Monday, Spurs were 1-0 up before ultimately being held to a costly 1-1 draw at home against West Bromwich Albion and, seven days later, they allowed another two crucial points to slip through their fingers.
Kane and Heung-Min Son both struck in the first half to give the Lilywhites a 2-0 advantage at the break, putting them on course for the club’s first victory at Stamford Bridge for 26 years.
Yet an increasingly bad-tempered match frequently boiled over, with nine Tottenham players being booked – and in the midst of the battle, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard hit back for the Blues to secure a 2-2 draw and end the Lilywhites’ title bid.
“We’re not just a young team that people can just walk over - we’re here to fight and we’re here to get better and better,” said Kane. “Chelsea did what they had to do - they were fighting for it, and so were we. We did all we could, it’s just a disappointing night.
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“We’re fighting for the Premier League [title] in a London derby, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. Of course there are going to be challenges flying in, tempers getting flared up, but that’s football.
“We probably could have controlled the game a bit better in the second half with the ball, just slowing the tempo down and taking the stuffing out of them, but again it’s something we’ve got to learn from. We’re a young side, we’re getting experience from every game and we’ll only learn from this.
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“It isn’t only these two games, we’ve done that a lot this season where we’ve been leading at half-time and we just haven’t finished teams off. We had a couple of chances in the second half, just to put it to bed, and the third goal always does that.
“We’re gutted now but in a few weeks’ time we’ll probably look back and say it wasn’t a bad season. It’s obviously disappointing, the way that it’s happened, but I’m proud of my team, I’m proud of everyone involved in the club. We couldn’t have fought much more, we’ve done all we could. It’s just a sad way to finish a great season.”
Tottenham have already secured a top-four spot for the first time in four years and they are almost assured of a place in the top three - which would represent their best ever finish in the Premier League era - while a home win over Southampton on Sunday would effectively cement second place, ahead of arch-rivals Arsenal.
A place in the group stage of the Champions League beckons, and Kane is keen to follow in the footsteps of the Spurs heroes who reached the quarter-finals in 2010-11.
“I would have been 15 or 16 years old,” he said. “I remember watching it - obviously the [Gareth] Bale game against Inter Milan was a special night at White Hart Lane.
“We’re learning and we’re showing our class in the Premier League. Hopefully we do secure it in the next two games and then it’s something to be excited about.
“It’s exciting times for the club, not just for me but for everyone involved. It hurts now - everything hurts now - but in a few weeks, when we look back, it’s not been a bad season.
“It isn’t over, though, we’ve still got things to play for – we’re going to finish on a good note against Southampton in our last home game, in front of all the home fans who have been fantastic this season.
“We can’t take anything for granted, we still have to finish the two games strongly. We want to finish second, we want to finish as high up as we can.”
Kane has also welcomed Mauricio Pochettino’s announcement that he has verbally agreed to extend his contract by two years, and stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.
“I think it’s important, we want to build on this team,” he said. “I think everyone can sense that we’ve got something special here - we can get better, we can learn, we can keep improving, and the manager’s a big part of that. We’re all delighted that he’s staying and it’s important now that we build on this season going into the next one.
“We congratulated him - it’s great news for the club, for all of us as well. We’ve got a great squad here, we’ve got a great manager, all things are heading in the right direction. We’ve just got to make sure we stick together, finish the season strongly now and then we look forward to getting even better next year.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs