Spurs boss congratulates Harry Kane on his first England call-up
Mauricio Pochettino has congratulated Harry Kane after the striker received his first call-up to the senior England squad today – and he is looking forward to sitting down with national boss Roy Hodgson next week to discuss the 21-year-old’s schedule.
Kane has scored 26 goals this campaign, while winning the Premier League player of the month award for January and February.
He reached another landmark in his stellar season this afternoon as Hodgson named him in his 24-man squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the friendly against Italy, alongside club-mates Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker.
“I’m happy for him, I congratulate him because it’s first call-up for the national team,” said Pochettino. “I think everyone’s happy for him.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet. I received the news in my office five minutes ago and we came straight here [to the press conference]. Maybe in the restaurant we will congratulate him – and not only him, Andros and Kyle too.”
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England will train at Spurs’ Hotspur Way training centre in Enfield next Thursday, and Pochettino is looking forward to sitting down with Hodgson and the national team staff staff to discuss Kane’s work-load.
The striker has already played 42 games in his breakthrough campaign, with nine to go, and he is currently due to play for England Under-21s this summer as they contest the finals of the European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.
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“It’s always is positive to speak with him [Hodgson] and all the staff,” said Pochettino. “It’s a good opportunity for us because they train here and it’s a good chance to share a moment, chat and speak a little bit - not only about Harry Kane but other aspects.
“Always we try to find the best for the players. After that we need to understand every position but I think we have a very good relationship and we will take a decision.
“Since the moment I came to England to manage Southampton, always our relationhip was good, and I think he [Hodgson] respects me and I have full respect for him.”
Hodgson has selected three left-backs in his England squad, picking Everton’s Leighton Baines, Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw while omitting Spurs’ Danny Rose, who was given his first senior call-up earlier in the season.
Pochettino stated last week that Rose “has been the best English left-back this season”, and that he has statistics to support his view, - but he respects Hodgson’s choice.
“Always it’s Roy decision, it doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “I understand what my place is, I always have full respect for his decision. It’s not about my opinion. You need to ask him why he picked different players and not Danny. I’ve not changed my opinion.
“For me he is the best English left-back and I haven’t changed my opinion. He’s shown he’s the best with his performances but it’s Roy’s opinion and it’s his decision.
“What stats do I have? This information is my information and I don’t need to explain why, but it’s clear when you can see the performances from the start of the season that Danny has shown he is one of the best left-backs in England.”
Pochettino is now preparing his side for Saturday’s home game against Leicester as Spurs bid to bounce back from Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester United – and he says it will not be difficult to motivate the team.
“This week you don’t need to speak too much, it’s an easy week,” he said. “We are all agreed about what happened at Old Trafford so it’s easy to fix that. We are all disappointed after that game. We know how we need to change or to fix that and for me, after nine months here, it has been one of the easier weeks.
“It’s an important game because we come from a big hit at Old Trafford. We were very disappointed with our performance and our defeat. We need to show that it hasn’t damaged us too much and to try to give our best and get the three points.
“We have spoken a lot. The way we played, we are all agreed we were poor - it was not a good performance, and we all agree. It’s important to realise that to fix many problems and try to show on Saturday against Leicester that it was only a temporary problem or just a bad day.
“In the last few games, Leicester have played differently from when we played them in the FA Cup - they’ve changed the system. We expect a different team playing in a different way. We expect a very tough game and an important game because we have nine games left and it’s important to start to win points.”
Roberto Soldado is out of action with a knee injury which ruled him out of the trip to Old Trafford last weekend, but otherwise Pochettino has a fully- fit squad to pick from.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs