Kane in his best form – Pochettino
Harry Kane is in top form despite failing to find the net in Tottenham’s opening 2-1 Premier League win at Newcastle United, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Kane scooped the World Cup Golden Boot with six goals as England plotted a route to the semi-finals, but his exertions appeared to have taken a toll towards the end of the Three Lions’ Russia 2018 campaign.
The 25-year-old extended his unwanted run of never scoring a Premier League goal in August to 14 matches as Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli found the target in a hard-fought win.
As was the case in England’s later knockout games last month, Kane regularly dropped deep to link the play with mixed results, while his customary sharpness in the penalty area was not to the fore.
But Pochettino has no concerns over his talisman, who he suggested is held to unrealistic standards on account of his prolific exploits over recent seasons.
“For me he is in his best form,” he told a post-match news conference.
“Whether he scores or doesn’t score, I don’t have doubts that he is in his best form.
“He worked a lot for the team. He showed that he is going to score.
“But what happens with Harry is he cannot score three goals every game.”
Lucas Moura and Kane’s England team-mate Eric Dier were substituted after the break but Pochettino allayed any injury fears.
Dier was suffering from cramp when he departed for academy product Luke Amos to make his Premier League debut, with Tottenham clinging on
Mohamed Diame had already hit the post and Newcastle debutant Salomon Rondon saw Vertonghen deflect his late effort against the bar.
“I think that we deserved at least a draw,” Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez told reporters.
“We played against a very good team, you could see the quality that they have. But at the same time you could see our team spirit and the chances that we had.
“I think we deserved a little bit more.”
Benitez added that it is too early to assess the damage suffered by DeAndre Yedlin after the right-back limped off with an apparent knee injury during stoppage time.