Spurs boss: Harry Kane will have learned a lot from his dry spell
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham striker Harry Kane will have learned a great deal from his difficult start to the season.
Kane scored 31 goals for Spurs last campaign but managed just one in his first 13 matches for his club this term.
That dry patch came to an end on Sunday as the 22-year-old hit a hat-trick in the Lilywhites’ 5-1 win at Bournemouth – and Pochettino feels Kane will be better off after experiencing some of the tougher days of life as a Premier League footballer.
“It’s a period that was good for him,” said the head coach. “You know when you’re in the floodlights, when you score goals, all is good and nice and always sunshine – and when you stop scoring all is dark and you need to find your balance.
“When all is good it’s like you’re in a bubble, but when the bubble disappears and the reality is different, that’s when you can learn and you can understand football, and this is the most important period to learn. For Harry it was great, to discover another football or different things in football.
“[His hat-trick] was very important for him, very important us, for the team and for the club and the supporters - for everyone.
“Harry Kane is a very important player for us. He’s recovered his confidence and trust in himself now. You know we always believe in him and we understand that a period always happens in all top players and strikers - sometimes they have a period where it’s difficult to score.
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“But it’s been an important period for him to realise a lot of things in football, good and bad. The one thing that was very important was to keep working hard, and he always showed that and never gave up and kept working in the same way. He worked for the team and this, I think, was the key to starting to score again.”
Kane was omitted from the starting line-up for last Thursday’s Europa League match against Anderlecht in Belgium, having hurt his knee in the previous game against Liverpool.
But the striker said earlier this week that the knee “should be 100 per cent” by the time Spurs host Aston Villa on Monday night – and Pochettino expects the forward to be ready.
“Yes, he’s fit, he’s had a clear week,” said the head coach. “He had a problem in the last action against Liverpool. That’s why he was on the bench against Anderlecht but we have three sessions ahead before the game on Monday and I think he’s in a very good way so he’s ready to compete on Monday.”
Nabil Bentaleb, Heung-Min Son, Alex Pritchard and Nacer Chadli remain side-lined, but Pochettino is pleased to have Ryan Mason back in action after the midfielder came on as a substitute against Bournemouth at the weekend.
“It’s good news for us,” he said. “It’s important because until Sunderland he was a very important player for us, he scored a great goal. We trust in him and it’s always important that all players are fit.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs