Belfast Telegraph

New dad Harry Kane too tired to feature, reveals Spurs boss Pochettino

Tottenham 2 Aston Villa 0

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Mauricio Pochettino left Harry Kane out of Tottenham's FA Cup defeat of Aston Villa yesterday after the birth of the England striker's daughter earlier in the morning.

Kane was due to be on the bench for the game at White Hart Lane but Pochettino decided to leave him out after seeing how tired the 23-year-old was. Kane's partner Kate Goodland gave birth to a girl, Ivy Jane Kane, at 7.30am yesterday.

"We send from here a big hug to Kate, his partner," Pochettino said after the 2-0 win, with the goals coming from Ben Davies and Son Heung-min. "It was a difficult night for her. They have a beautiful girl, but Harry was more tired. His face was terrible, but now he's okay.

"We sent him to sleep. He was at hospital all night waiting. It is fantastic, and very good news for our family."

Vincent Janssen started up front for Spurs and was taken off after an hour in which he again looked short of form and fitness. Pochettino admitted afterwards that Janssen is "struggling".

This was his 10th start and 23rd appearance but he still has just three goals, all from the penalty spot.

"It's true that he's struggling but it's difficult," said Pochettino.

"If you look at the game against Chelsea both strikers struggled in the first half. When you don't have space it's difficult.

"He's young, from a different league, he needs to adapt, work hard and not be frustrated. We push our players a lot and we will push him to the level we need."

Pochettino was full of praise for Harry Winks after the 20-year-old midfielder ran the game in his seventh start for Tottenham. Winks played alongside Eric Dier in Spurs' 3-4-3 and excelled with his speed and passing in the middle of the pitch.

"He was fantastic," Pochettino said. "He is working very hard. He's a special player. It will only take time for him to achieve big things. He knows the key is to work hard and good mentality."

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce said that he hoped he could reignite the career of Gabriel Agbonlahor, who made just his third start of the season.

Agbonlahor fell out of favour with Roberto di Matteo but is now back in contention.

"I knew we would lose strikers in January," Bruce said. "So whatever has happened in the past we've got to get him in some sort of shape. Can I reignite Gabby? In three months I've been there he's done everything possible to resurrect after a difficult time for him."

TOTTENHAM: Vorm, Carter-Vickers, Alderweireld (Nkoudou, 70 mins), Wimmer, Trippier, Dier, Winks, Davies, Son, Sissoko (Onomah, 84 mins), Janssen (Alli, 60 mins). Unused subs: Pau Lopez, Walker-Peters, Vertonghen, Wanyama.

ASTON VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Baker, Amavi, Adomah (Green, 77 mins), Jedinak (Davis, 77 mins), Tshibola, Bacuna, Grealish, Agbonlahor (McCormack, 77 mins). Unused subs: Gollini, Elphick, Westwood, Cissokho.

Referee: Mike Dean

Man of the match: Harry Winks

Match rating: 6/10

Belfast Telegraph


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