Kane an automatic team sheet selection, says Spurs boss Conte

‘We are talking about an important player for us ... I don’t see this team starting without Harry’

Misfiring Harry Kane of Tottenham has scored one Premier League goal so far this season. Photograph: EPA

Misfiring Harry Kane of Tottenham has scored one Premier League goal so far this season. Photograph: EPA

 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte cannot imagine selecting a Spurs team without Harry Kane and says the club do not have the option to rest their misfiring talisman over the Christmas period.

Kane remains stuck on one Premier League goal for the season after drawing a blank, and missing a clear chance, during Thursday’s 2-0 win over Brentford. There were suggestions that his sharpness is returning, though, and afterwards a satisfied Conte called him Tottenham’s “point of reference”. Should that remain the case in all of their eight remaining December fixtures then he will have played 69 matches for club and country this year, but Conte maintains there is no viable alternative.

“If I answer in an honest way, to start a game without Harry now is a bit difficult for me,” he said when the topic of giving the England captain a breather was raised. “We are talking about an important player for us. I hope to improve the situation . . . and to see that maybe without Harry we can cover the situation – not in the same way, but in a way that can be good to get three points. But now . . . I don’t see this team starting without Harry.”

Tottenham’s second goal against Brentford resulted from a slick Kane pass to Sergio Reguilón and Conte reiterated that he was more than happy with the striker’s broader output.

“I always like to be honest with my players and if I wasn’t satisfied with Harry’s performances, for sure I would tell him,” he said. “But I repeat: I’m very satisfied, he is playing well and doing fantastic work for the team.”

Conte playing for time?

Spurs have taken seven points from a potential nine in the league under Conte and, albeit at an early stage, find themselves propelled from nowhere into the driving seat for a top-four spot. They will be fourth on Saturday night, with a game in hand on most rivals, if they beat Norwich at home on Sunday and West Ham lose to Chelsea on the Saturday. Given Conte said his side’s level was “not so high” after the chastening defeat to NS Mura, he was asked whether a Champions League spot in May would put them ahead of schedule.

“I asked the club for another month to understand very well the situation and to make the right evaluation because I think this is fair,” he said, the inference being that he will be clearer on Spurs’ prospects by the time the transfer window opens.

“The most important thing for us to try to improve the situation is [by] working. Then if there is the possibility to improve the quality, we will try to do it.”

– Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.