Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino: Kane always in my plans

Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham have never considered letting in-form striker Harry Kane leave the club.

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock claimed on Thursday he tried to sign Kane on loan before the start of the campaign but that Spurs were keen to keep the striker for their Europa League fixtures.

Kane has scored 11 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season and his impressive performances have seen him start all of Tottenham's last four Barclays Premier League matches.

"It is the first time I have heard this information," Pochettino said in response to Warnock's comments.

"I have never known it was possible. Our first idea was to keep Harry Kane and give him chances to play.

"My idea was to keep Harry because we believe in him and his potential to play for Tottenham.

"He has since shown we were right in our decision to keep him."

Kane is one of a handful of home-grown players to have been given a chance under Pochettino, with Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb also enjoying the faith of the new head coach.

Pochettino believes Kane's affiliation with the club is a valuable asset to the team.

"At the moment Harry is not feeling any pressure," Pochettino added.

"It is important that he is a player who feels the club, he came through the academy and he knows our values.

"He is English, he shows passion and is in very good condition - he is a very important player for us."

Kane's rise to prominence at White Hart Lane casts more uncertainty over the future of Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor has not played since Tottenham lost 2-1 at home to Stoke last month, after which the striker said the home supporters were having a negative effect on the team.

Pochettino claims he enjoys a healthy relationship with the Togo forward, who he says has been out with a back injury and a virus.

"My relationship with Emmanuel is very good, I was a player and I understand my players," Pochettino explained.

"After the international break he came back with a back problem and after that he got a virus.

"I spoke with him at training and he is not ready to play, he still felt weak - maybe in the next few games he will be ready to help the team.

"All the players in the squad are in my plans for the future.

"It is normal for there to be a lot speculation in the media around the players and the club but for me I don't comment on that."

Also on the comeback trail is right-back Kyle Walker, who has recovered from an abdominal injury and played for the Under-21 side against Manchester City on Monday.

Walker will feature for the development team again at Fulham on Saturday as he continues to regain fitness.

Julian Speroni believes Crystal Palace have to approach their game at Tottenham as a match they can win -or they risk falling into the relegation battle.

The Eagles currently sit 15th in the Barclays Premier League table but are just one point clear of the bottom three.

Warnock's side had taken four points from clashes with Liverpool and Swansea before a home defeat to fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday and could find themselves in the relegation zone if Spurs can see them off.

But Speroni feels a safety-first approach could have a detrimental effect on Palace, especially if they make the short trip to north London intent on sitting back and looking to leave with a point.

"It's a week where we need to prepare well and make sure the recovery is spot-on. It'll be a tough challenge for us but we're looking forward to it," the Argentina goalkeeper told the club's official website.

"We've been creating a lot, especially against Villa, and we hope to do that against Tottenham too. Any point away from home is always a good point but if you go into games with that mentality then you tend to lose. You have to go out there thinking you can win, try to win and then see what happens.

"We try not to think too much about what has happened before, we try to prepare for every game in the same manner. We know it's going to be a tough challenge but we have the confidence to go there and try and win the game because of the performances we've had lately."

Palace are likely to be without midfielder Joe Ledley. The Wales international is suffering from a recurrence of a hip problem that ruled him out of Tuesday night's defeat.

He is unlikely to be fit to return at White Hart Lane and will join defenders Damien Delaney (calf) and Adrian Mariappa (knee) on the sidelines - with Dwight Gayle available having been forced off against Villa through illness.


From Belfast Telegraph