Monaco v Spurs: Classy Harry Kane can keep Spurs Euro mission alive - Lloris
By Tom Allnutt
Hugo Lloris believes Harry Kane’s return can prove the turning point in Tottenham’s faltering Champions League campaign.
Spurs play Monaco in France tonight and realistically must win if they are to avoid an early exit from Group E.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men trail Monaco by four points and second-placed Bayer Leverkusen by two, following successive home defeats at Wembley.
Kane, however, could provide the spark Tottenham need. The striker’s late double fired his side to their first victory in eight matches against West Ham on Saturday and Lloris believes his return from injury could be pivotal.
“One thing is very important — the return of Kane,” Lloris said.
“He is bringing a lot of positive energy as we saw against Arsenal and West Ham. He is a very important player for us. He is going to be decisive hopefully.
“It’s simple. He is one of the leaders and (it) is an important moment for Tottenham this season so we need all our top players at the top level.
“It’s our responsibility to play at that level.”
Kane has only recently come back from a seven-week lay-off with an ankle injury and Pochettino was doubtful last week when asked if the striker could manage three full matches in a week.
Tottenham’s pulsating 3-2 win over West Ham kicked off a busy seven days, which continues against Monaco and ends with a crunch trip to Chelsea this weekend.
Pochettino will also make late decisions on Dele Alli, who is still recovering from a knee injury, and Mousa Dembele, who has a niggling foot problem.
“It’s clear that tomorrow is the most important game,” Pochettino said yesterday.
“Our selection will be if the players that are fit or not, that can play 90 minutes or not.
“We need to assess Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli, if they can play 90 minutes and don’t take any risks that can affect for the next games.
“We have one day less than Monaco to recover because they play Friday, we play Saturday. Today is a very important day to assess and see if the players are fully recovered to play.”
Monaco ripped Spurs apart on the counter-attack in their surprise 2-1 victory in September and Pochettino admits Tottenham must guard against over-committing at the Stade Louis II.
“It’s a game that we must win but we need to find a way how,” Pochettino said.
“We have a good team in front, we know Monaco very well. We always want to win every game we play but it’s not about taking more or less risks but to be clever, follow the plan and try to win after 90 minutes.
“That’s our idea, our challenge. It’s not about risks, it’s about balance in football.”
Lloris also moved to ease concerns about his future. The goalkeeper is yet to extend his current contract, which expires in 2019, but insists he is happy at White Hart Lane.
“There is nothing to worry about,” Lloris said.
“Let’s see what will happen but I feel fully committed to the club, I’m enjoying my time here.”
Spurs go into the match on the back of that 3-2 win over West Ham on Saturday and Kane, who scored twice late on to hand his side a dramatic victory, said: “If we’d lost, it would have been difficult to get going again for Tuesday.
“Now it’s the complete opposite. We’re full of momentum. We’ll take that straight into the Monaco game and, hopefully, win there.”
Warm up: Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Danny Rose train last night ahead of their match against Monaco tonight