Spurs stung by Saints as Kane injury adds to woes
Southampton 1 Tottenham 0
Tottenham are waiting to find out the extent of captain Harry Kane's hamstring injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat at Southampton.
Kane picked up the problem in the process of scoring an offside goal and left St Mary's on crutches, sparking fears he could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Head coach Jose Mourinho said it was too soon to know how bad the injury is, but has described it as "negative".
"For Harry to come out is negative," he said. "Hamstring is always a negative. Is it tear? Is it a spasm? Is it a contraction? In this moment I cannot say."
Spurs were already labouring with their top scorer on as they trailed to Danny Ings' first-half goal and Mourinho said there was even less chance of his side turning it around after Kane's injury.
"When we lose our target man Harry Kane we know the part of the game where we are normally more dominant is gone," he said.
"We played the last 15 minutes of the game without a recognised striker and that made it even more difficult."
Kane was not the only player Spurs lost to injury as record signing Tanguy Ndombele limped off in the first half, and it caused Mourinho to lose his patience.
The France international has been beset by fitness concerns following his summer move from Lyon and recently told his manager that he did not want to be selected for the Boxing Day win over Brighton.
Mourinho did not hold back in his assessment of the Frenchman.
"He is always injured, he is injured, is not injured," Mourinho vented.
"He plays one match, the next week he is injured, he plays another match. We are full of hopes and this is since the beginning of the season."
Mourinho also branded Southampton's goalkeeping coach Andrew Sparkes "an idiot" after they clashed at St Mary's.
Mourinho received a yellow card from referee Mike Dean after the altercation in the second half, where the Portuguese was understood to be annoyed at time-wasting tactics from the Saints.
The Tottenham boss' frustration boiled over, largely due to that below-par performance from his side, although he was also unhappy with the Saints bench midway through the second half.
Asked about the incident after the game, Mourinho said: "I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot. And for some reason, I was rude, but I was and because I was I deserve the yellow card."
Southampton counterpart Ralph Hassenhuttl played dumb on the incident.
"I cannot tell anything, I'm so concentrated on my game, I can only look at what I can teach my players," he said. "I don't want to say anything. I have a very high opinion about this manager - he did so much for football."
Mourinho was perhaps deflecting from what was a disappointing showing against the Saints as Spurs' top-four hopes suffered another blow.
He also heavily criticised VAR after a possible penalty for a foul on Dele Alli in the first half was not reviewed, while Kane had a goal chalked off for offside in the action where the striker injured himself.
"For me the referees are not the referees," he said. "I think the VAR should change their name because Video Assistant Referee is not true.
"It should be VR - Video Referee - because they are the referees. The other guys in the office are the ones who make the big decisions of the game."
SOUTHAMPTON: McCarthy, Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Djenepo (Long, 58 mins), Ings (Obafemi, 76 mins), Redmond (Romeu, 90 mins). Subs not used: Yoshida, Vestergaard, Adams, Gunn.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, R Sessegnon, Sissoko, Ndombele (Lo Celso, 25 mins), Eriksen, Alli, Moura, Kane (Lamela, 75 mins). Subs not used: Sanchez, Winks, Vorm, Skipp, Tanganga.
Man of the match: Ings
Match rating: 6/10
Referee: Mike Dean