Tottenham still alive, insists Kane
Harry Kane believes Tottenham can still make the last 16 of the Champions League after coming to his side’s rescue once more in a late turnaround to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were only 12 minutes away from being eliminated as they struggled to recover from Luuk de Jong’s opener for PSV after 61 seconds at Wembley.
But England captain Kane came to the rescue with a predatory equaliser before heading the crucial last-gasp winner with the aid of a deflection off PSV’s Trent Sainsbury. “We were just on the attack all the time,” said Kane. “In the end we managed to take a couple but I think we deserved it. We had to dig deep and find another level when it mattered. The whole season we’ve been grinding out results here and there. Obviously we’d like to be higher up the table in the league and doing better in the Champions League, but we’re still fighting.”
Spurs still face an uphill task to reach the knockout stage as they need to beat Inter Milan at home in their next Champions League clash and most likely Barcelona away on December 11. “It’s another game we must win, we want to have the possibility to go to the next stage,” said Pochettino, who praised his players’ efforts after an arduous run of four games in eight days.
“The team is growing up. In these four games, three victories, we lost to Man City and I think the draw was more the fair result. Pleased of course, we’re always trying to improve, but with all the circumstances the team is fighting.”
CAPTAIN KANE HAPPY TO HONOUR ROONEY IN FINAL ENGLAND FAREWELL
Meanwhile, England captain Kane has given his backing to the honouring of former skipper Wayne Rooney in an international friendly against the United States next week. Rooney, a record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, retired from international football in August 2017.
But the 33-year-old, now based in the United States where he plays for Major League Soccer side DC United, is set to wear the Three Lions shirt one last time at Wembley on November 15. “I think it’s great,” Kane said. Next week’s match will be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International in support of the striker’s children’s charity, and England manager Gareth Southgate has named Rooney in the squad. FA chiefs have faced accusations they are devaluing international football by recalling Rooney but Kane was in no doubt about having his predecessor as England skipper involved one last time.
“It’s a really good thing that everyone should be a part of. Wayne is one the greatest ever players to play for England, the greatest goalscorer to play for England, so why not give him the send-off he deserves? I’ve not spoken to Gareth (Southgate) too much about how he’s going to do it when we play but it’ll be great to see him again and I’m sure he’s looking forward to seeing a few of the boys. It’s a great experience for the younger players in our team. So I think everyone should get right behind it, and it’ll be a good send-off.”
And Kane said he would have no problems handing over the captain’s armband to Rooney should the former skipper come off the bench. “He deserves it. He was a great captain for us. He was captain when I got into the squad. So if he plays, of course he’ll be the captain,” said Kane.
Former Everton and United forward Rooney scored 53 goals in 119 England appearances. He scored 12 times for DC United after joining them in June following a second spell at boyhood club Everton, and helped them climb from the bottom of the league to the play-offs.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (right) scores against PSV Eindhoven during the Champions League group B match at Wembley Stadium in London.