Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane spoke out on Monday, insisting that the club prove that he can stay competitive through the end of the season.
The Express quotes Kane in the wake of Tottenham’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday that kept them on pace to secure second place in the Premier League.
That win brought Tottenham within seven points of league leaders Chelsea. Even if Antontio Conte’s team extended that gap to ten points after their win over West Ham on Monday evening, Spurs should still remain hopeful.
With eleven games still left to play, it certainly isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that Spurs could narrow that game.
Kane certainly sees that potential, and encouraged his teammates to not lose sight of the prize. The Express carries his quote in full:
"“Hopefully we are better equipped than last year but it’s hard to talk and say we are, because we’ve got to show it. We were disappointed last year, as we all know. But we are in a good position now and trying to catch Chelsea. At the same time, it’s important we build a gap between the teams around us as well and with Manchester United and Arsenal dropping points it was important we capitalise. We want to catch Chelsea and we want them to drop points. But we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves, build a gap on the teams around us and if Chelsea drop points then great and if they don’t then we’ll be second or third.”"
Tottenham found themselves with a similar gulf to clear last season. Leicester led the league for much of the season’s second half, but Spurs came within spitting distance of Claudio Ranieri’s team with plenty of time left to play.
The pressure was too much for this young team however. First came a shock loss to West Ham in March, then the slump really took hold over the last four matches of the season. A draw to Chelsea gifted the title to Leicester, then Spurs dropped to third behind rivals Arsenal in losses in their final two matches.
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That was more than just a failure of mental fortitude however. In their attempt to hunt down trophies in as many competitions as possible, Spurs were overstretched and worn down by the last month of the season. Mousa Dembélé and Dele Alli were also suspended for crucial matches toward the end, making it that much harder to earn vital results.
Kane is hoping here to encourage his squad to do better this time around. The circumstances do look more promising. Tottenham’s schedule leans heavily toward winnable home fixtures, and is free of Europa League commitments. They will also be able to welcome back Danny Rose and Érik Lamela from injury before the season is out, thereby adding to the squad’s depth.
Chelsea, meanwhile, still have to play both Manchester clubs along with tricky teams like Everton and Southampton. It’s possible they drop points, thereby narrowing the gap Tottenham need to cover.
Admittedly, Kane is perhaps being optimistic here, but that is precisely the attitude Tottenham need to adopt now and in the future if they ever want to compete for the Premier League title.