Kane holds key to Spurs’ European ambitions
Last-eight spot beckons for struggling Tottenham
London — Harry Kane insists Tottenham will shake off their Premier League collapse as the England star looks to fire his team into the Champions League quarterfinals against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
In seven days Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Premier League have been shattered by defeats at Burnley and Chelsea and Saturday’s north London derby draw against Arsenal.
It was just the latest Tottenham failure when the stakes have been at their highest since Mauricio Pochettino took charge five years ago.
Only a last-minute Hugo Lloris penalty save from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prevented Arsenal inflicting Tottenham’s third successive loss.
But Kane is convinced Tottenham are capable of recovering from a painful week and he challenged his team to use their Champions League last-16 second leg in Dortmund as fuel to speed up their revival.
“Two disappointing results in a week, this was the perfect game, a north London derby to show passion and show fans we are ready to fight for the rest of the season,” said Kane, who scored their penalty equaliser against Arsenal.
“It’s a point, we wanted three but it stops the losing streak and we can focus on Dortmund and then Southampton.
“Over the past week we have put ourselves under pressure but we have done it in the past and every game is a big game.”
Tottenham have one foot in the last eight after a 3-0 first-leg win at Wembley. Now they must finish the job against Dortmund to book their first Champions League quarterfinal appearance since 2011.
That would leave Tottenham within touching distance of their first European semifinal since winning the Uefa Cup in 1984.
Progressing in Europe’s elite club competition could be essential for Tottenham to convince Kane they can provide him with the platform to win major honours.
Without a top trophy since the 2008 League Cup, Tottenham’s barren spell is reportedly weighing heavily on Kane, who was said to be “devastated and angry” following their 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday.
Ironically, Tottenham’s form has dipped at the exact moment Kane returned from an ankle injury. The 25-year-old is back ahead of schedule, prompting some to suggest he has rushed back too soon.
But Kane has scored in two of his three games over the past week, taking his goal tally for the season to 22.
To claim the 2018 World Cup top-scorer is an impediment to Tottenham in any way would be met with derision from Pochettino.
The Argentine is adamant Kane is one of the world’s best strikers and his Champions League record supports that belief.
Kane, who missed the Dortmund first leg, has 13 goals in 16 appearances in the competition. His confidence in his own ability is so strong that earlier this season he made it his aim to eventually score more European goals than Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.
For now, Pochettino would settle for Kane helping Tottenham past Dortmund.
“After two defeats it was important to build again our positive ways,” Pochettino said. “We have a very difficult game on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund and arriving in a better condition than we arrived today is going to be key.”