Kane breaks ranks to back man­ager as suit­ors ar­rive

Cap­tain says play­ers ‘love’ work­ing with Po­chet­tino Spurs told they must turn po­ten­tial into sil­ver­ware

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Tom Morgan

Tot­ten­ham’s me­dia team re­main un­der orders to shut down all ques­tions sur­round­ing Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s fu­ture. Harry Kane, how­ever, re­fused to duck the sub­ject en­tirely as a press of­fi­cer again felt com­pelled to stop the is­sue be­ing raised by jour­nal­ists. “We are fully be­hind the man­ager,” said the Eng­land cap­tain ahead of to­day’s clash with po­ten­tial suit­ors Manch­ester United.

“We love the way he works. We’ve built a great team and a great unit over the last three or four years. It’s down to us to con­tinue that and take an­other step for­ward if we can.”

Kane said some long-awaited sil­ver­ware was that next step: “It’s about turn­ing that into a tro­phy.”

Un­der Po­chet­tino, Kane be­lieves Spurs have “changed per­cep­tions” around the club. “We are at the stage now where we have a ma­ture team. We

are not young any more. It’s im­por­tant we keep our­selves at this high level, at the top.”

The 25-year-old said his Spurs team must keep their in­ten­sity af­ter a busy run of games. United ar­rive at Wem­b­ley on the back of a warm-weather break, while Tot­ten­ham were in mid­week ac­tion with a hard-fought 1-0 League Cup semi-fi­nal first leg vic­tory against Chelsea.

“United have been in great form,” he said. “It will be an­other tough game, but we feel con­fi­dent against the big­ger teams. We know we can play with the ball and we know we can dig deep like we did [against Chelsea], and catch teams on the counter-at­tack. We are go­ing to need both those at­tributes.”

Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer, un­beaten in his role as in­terim man­ager at Old Traf­ford, was a striker Kane stud­ied as a school­boy. “He had a great men­tal­ity to come on and change the game,” Kane said. “He has gone into man­age­ment there and changed some­thing around, be­cause they are do­ing well so far.”

Hav­ing beaten United in their past two league en­coun­ters, Kane said the team is full of be­lief that “when we are on good form, we can dom­i­nate any team in Eu­rope”. He added: “We’ve done it in the Cham­pi­ons League and we’ve done it against the big teams in cer­tain games. But it’s about con­sis­tency.

“United are com­ing off some great re­sults, they are go­ing to be con­fi­dent and they are go­ing to have a lot of en­ergy. They won’t have played mid­week like we had. We have to bring that same en­ergy.”

Kane scored his 160th Spurs goal with a con­tro­ver­sial penalty against Chelsea to over­take dou­ble win­ner Cliff Jones into fourth on Tot­ten­ham’s all-time goalscor­ing list. He re­mains 106 goals be­hind top scorer Jimmy Greaves. “We’ll see,” said Kane of his chances of pass­ing the record.

“Hope­fully. That would be nice.”

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