Harry Kane wants to give Spurs fans the bragging rights over Arsenal
Harry Kane admits it would be a bitter blow if Tottenham miss out on second place - and he is determined to give Spurs fans the bragging rights over Arsenal supporters for the first time in 21 years.
While Spurs have already secured their best ever finish in the Premier League era by nailing down a top-three spot, a victory or a draw in yesterday’s final home game against Southampton would have ensured that the Lilywhites finished above the Gunners for the first time since 1995.
But they threw away a lead for the third game in a row, with Steven Davis’ brace condemning Mauricio Pochettino’s hosts to a 2-1 defeat – and Arsenal are now just two points behind, albeit with a vastly inferior goal difference.
Arsene Wenger’s side entertain basement boys Aston Villa in Sunday’s final round of fixtures so Tottenham will almost certainly need to get a result against a Newcastle side who could be fighting for survival in front of their home fans.
Kane is frustrated that Spurs have allowed the battle to go down to the final day, but he insists the players understand the importance of finishing the season strongly at St James’ Park.
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“We definitely want to finish second, that is our aim,” said Kane. “It would be a blow [to come third] but we go to Newcastle and we are still backing ourselves to win that game. It hurts not finishing it off at home but we have still got one more game.
“It would be a very good thing [to finish above Arsenal]. It’s not something I think we all focused on at the start of the season, but now we are here it would be good.
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“It would be good for the fans to have those bragging rights for the first time in a long time. It’s in our hands, we have just got to win the next game and the job will be done.
“We all know what it means. We haven’t won the league this year but there’s still a lot to play for and that is definitely one thing. The fans are obviously urging us on. “They were great again yesterday. We’re disappointed we couldn’t send them home happy but there’s still one more game to do that and we’ll try our hardest.
“It’s been a long season. We’ve been fighting hard, mentally and physically, but I still think we looked good out there [against Southampton]. We played good football.
“In recent weeks we just haven’t been finishing teams off. We’ve been going ahead, and then maybe it’s a lack of concentration.”
The fight for the golden boot will also be decided on the final day of the season after Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy both closed in on Kane over the weekend.
The Spurs striker has struck 25 top-flight goals this season but Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero now have 24 each, with the latter finding the net in yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal.
“I’d rather Man City had won to be honest, I’m not really fussed who scores,” said Kane. “I’ll try to score next week and try to help my team.”
Sunday’s game at Newcastle will be Kane’s 58th of the season for club and country, and he is then set to lead the line for England at this summer’s European Championship in France.
But he insisted: “I feel good. I look after my body, which is important. I feel fit and ready. Hopefully we’ll finish strongly next week and then I’ll look forward to the Euros.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs