Kane hails Spurs hero Eric Dier’s Premier League debut against West Ham
22:13 17 August 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
EXCLUSIVE: Harry Kane was thrilled to play a part in Eric Dier’s dream Premier League debut and secure an opening-day victory over London rivals West Ham on Saturday.
The pair have come through England’s youth squads together, becoming firm friends before Dier arrived at White Hart Lane this summer – and it was Kane who set up the 20-year-old defender’s dramatic winner at Upton Park.
Kane came off the bench in the 83rd minute and unlocked the Hammers’ defence in injury-time, playing a neat through ball to Dier, who rounded Irons goalkeeper Adrian and finished calmly to become an instant Spurs hero.
“To pass it through to him - a good mate who I’ve known for a while now - and see him get the winner on his debut, I’m over the moon for him, and over the moon for the team as well,” said Kane.
“He’s a great player, a great professional and I get on well with him. It’s great for him to score against West Ham on his debut, to get the winner in the 91st minute. It doesn’t get much better for him.
“He wouldn’t have dreamt of a start as good as that. He got the clean sheet and to score the winner, for a defender, it’s unusual on the debut – but I’m sure he’ll take it.
“I doubt he slept on Saturday and he would have been watching Match of the Day for sure. I’m really happy for him, he deserves it, and I’m very happy with the way the lads played.”
Tottenham lost all three of their clashes with West Ham last season, including their trip to Upton Park in May, when Younes Kaboul was sent off in the 25th minute en route to a 2-0 defeat.
It seemed that history was going to repeat itself on Saturday as Kyle Naughton was dismissed for handball in the 29th minute, conceding a penalty in the process.
However, Mark Noble missed the ensuing spot-kick and the Irons were reduced to 10 men themselves in the second period, with James Collins getting a second booking – and Dier grabbed three points for the visitors at the death.
“It’s a great win away from home,” said Kane. “Going down to 10 men and conceding a penalty, it didn’t look too bright.
“It looked like it was going to happen all over again, but credit to the lads - they dug in, they hung in there. The game isn’t over until the final whistle and obviously we got the goal right at the death.”
Kane’s central role in Spurs’ triumph capped a memorable few days after he put pen to paper on a new five-year contract on Thursday.
The 21-year-old has impressed in Tottenham’s warm-up games, playing up front and as a No10, and he is expecting to operate in both roles under Mauricio Pochettino this campaign.
“It’s great to sign the new deal and secure my future at the club,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll see some games and get some goals and we’ll push on in the league and do as well as we can.
“I’ve been playing in pre-season, I’ve been playing as a No9 and just behind the No9 as well.
“He [Pochettino] sees me as a bit of both, he likes me in both positions so I’m happy to play in either of them. It was good to get on the pitch [against West Ham] and get an assist and show the manager what I can do.”
Kane may well be named in Spurs’ starting line-up against AEL Limassol in the Thursday’s Europa League play-off tie in Cyprus. And, having scored twice in pre-season, he is keen to add a competitive goal as quickly as possible.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game - any game away in Europe is going to be tough,” he said. “We’ll enjoy this [win over West Ham] but get ready for the game on Thursday now.
“It’s another important game because we want to qualify for the group stage. We’re looking forward to it, hopefully I’ll get some minutes and go from there.
“Any striker wants to be scoring, no matter what game it is - whether it’s a friendly in pre-season or the league. And, if I do get the chance on Thursday, I’ll be looking to get off the mark as early as possible, as any striker would.”
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