Spurs boss: This is the first I’ve heard of Palace’s attempt to sign Harry Kane
15:51 05 December 2014
Mauricio Pochettino says he was unaware of any approach from Crystal Palace to sign Harry Kane on loan in the summer.
But Tottenham’s head coach has declared he always intended to give the striker an opportunity at White Hart Lane this season – and he feels the 21-year-old’s performances have justified the club’s decision to keep him.
Spurs host Palace in the Premier League tomorrow and Eagles boss Neil Warnock has revealed that he tried to “get [Kane] a few times” on loan when he took charge at Selhurst Park in the summer.
That was news to Pochettino, who said today: “I hear this information for the first time. I never knew that it was maybe possible that that happened. But our idea from the beginning, from the first day here, was to give Harry Kane bigger chances to play. We always believed in him and his potential to play for Tottenham. He’s showed we were right to keep him.”
Kane has arguably been Spurs’ best and most consistent player this season, scoring 11 goals for his club, but Pochettino refuted suggestions that the England Under-21 international is now feeling the pressure of being the primary attacking threat.
“At the moment no, he doesn’t feel the pressure as you say,” said Pochettino. “He’s a player that feels the club - he’s come through the academy and he identifies with our values. He’s English, he shows passion and is in a very good condition, and he’s an important player for us.”
Kane missed two early opportunities for Spurs in their 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday, heading against the bar and then shooting wide from the corner of the six-yard box.
It proved costly as Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba struck for the Blues in the 19th and 22nd minutes, while substitute Loic Remy netted a third goal in the second half.
Pochettino feels there were two lessons for his side to learn, but he saw reasons for optimism amidst the disappointment.
“The first lesson is you need to score and be clinical in front of goal,” he said. “Until we conceded the goal we played much better than Chelsea. Over 90 minutes we deserved to score one or two goals, and then maybe we would have been talking in a different way in this press conference. That’s the first thing.
“Then after we conceded the first goal we needed to be calm and have patience, because we gave them the opportunity to score the second goal, and being 2-0 down is difficult at Stamford Bridge.
“The important thing for me was that we tried to play the right way, going in the same direction, and we managed the game. In the second half we were close to scoring and they got the third goal on the counter-attack.
“We’re not happy because we lost 3-0 but this is one step more because the team showed that we believe in our way and this is important for the future.”
Pochettino is now hoping for more signs of progress when Spurs host Palace tomorrow – but he admits his players must be aware of the visitors’ pace on the break.
“They have very good players that run fast, like Yannick Bolasie and Marouane Chamakh,” he said. “We are very focused on the game tomorrow, it’s an important three points and we’ll try to repeat the same performance that we had against Everton.
“Our style is always to play in possession of the ball and try to play in the opponents’ half, but it’s true that we need to be careful and try to administrate the ball and always finalise in the final third.
“That’s important because if we try to build from the back and we lose the ball in the middle of the pitch then maybe they will recover and go forward and we will have a problem. We need to be clever in how we manage the ball tomorrow.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs