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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino wants 'more aggression' after Leicester draw

Published 29/10/2016

Mauricio Pochettino wants more cutting edge from his team
Mauricio Pochettino wants more cutting edge from his team

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane has a "50 per cent" chance of returning from knee trouble for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

Pochettino stopped short of claiming Kane's return could cure all Spurs' goal-scoring ills, but did challenge his players to be "more aggressive" in converting chances.

The north London club are now without a win in five matches in all competitions, after Ahmed Musa's strike scrambled Leicester a 1-1 Premier League draw at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham remain unbeaten in the league, but Pochettino insists his men must toughen up in the final third, especially attacking midfielders Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

"The reality is that for the chances we created in the game we need to be more clinical and score more," said Pochettino, whose side have mustered only three goals in their last five matches.

"It's evident that we need to score more. I'm not worried about that but I think it's a characteristic that we have.

"It's true that today and in the last few games we have had problems in that situation."

Kane has been sidelined with ankle ligament damage he sustained after scoring in the 1-0 league win over Sunderland on September 10.

Spurs have badly missed not just the 23-year-old striker's scoring rate, but also the link play that creates space for both Eriksen and Alli.

Tottenham host Leverkusen on Wednesday before taking on Arsenal in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, and Pochettino is hopeful Kane could be involved at some stage.

"Wednesday 50 per cent, and Sunday we'll see," the Argentinian said of Kane's prospects.

"It's always important (to have Kane fit). He's our main striker.

"We're very, very happy with Vincent (Janssen). We brought him in to share that position with Harry. It's impossible to put all the pressure on him to score the goals.

"But not only our strikers, we need our second line to score more, to be more aggressive in the last third.

"Maybe we've lacked aggression in our second line in the last few games too. We've got to be more determined to score, not only play well.

"We're a team that can dominate and play well. We have a very good plan of the game, but then we need to be more determined to score.

"That means more aggression. Aggressive is not to punch but to be more direct, shoot, believe.

"We are very good in possession, we build up from the back very well, our plan is perfect, but then in the last third we've got to be more clinical, more aggressive.

"After 10 games we're in a position that before the season we would take.

"Five victories, five draws, but it's true that that is not enough. If we want to fight for big things, we need to improve."

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri hailed the return of the fighting qualities and unity that drove the Foxes to last term's Premier League title.

The Italian hopes to use the draw at Spurs as a turning point, with Islam Slimani expected back from groin trouble for Wednesday's Champions League trip to FC Copenhagen.

"So far we'd shown an individual spirit but today I saw the old spirit, the team spirit that we created last season and helped us to achieve something," Ranieri said.

"It was good, a good performance against a fantastic team.

"During the week I talked to my players and I saw our spirit.

"But that's only words, and the answer on the pitch was fantastic.

"When we play with this spirit we are fighters, and we are fighters together.

"We've finished thinking about something different, and now we are back together."

Ranieri suggested Spurs striker Janssen had gone down lightly under Robert Huth's challenge to win the home side's penalty he later converted.

Blowing out air to indicate the ease with which he felt the Spurs forward went down, Ranieri said: "In my opinion when the free-kick was taken there was a foul on Huth stronger than Huth made to Janssen. But it's okay, it's no excuse."

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