December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Harry Kane believes his performance in last night’s Capital One Cup victory over Hull City proves that he has the versatility to be more than an out-and-out striker.
The 20-year-old is generally viewed as a forward – and he scored a hat-trick for England’s Under-21s against San Marino earlier in the month, when he was leading the line.
However, Kane was deployed on the left side in Spurs’ Capital One Cup tie at Aston Villa earlier in the season, and he came off the bench to adopt the No10 role against Hull last night – with great success.
Kane saw a goal disallowed because Jermain Defoe handled in the build-up, and he then came agonisingly close to giving Spurs a last-minute victory inside normal time, hitting the bar with a 25-yard strike in the fourth minute of injury-time.
He was not to be denied though and, when Tottenham went behind in extra-time, it was Kane who came up with the equaliser, finding room on the edge of the box and finishing accurately into the bottom right corner.
He went on to score from the spot in the penalty shoot-out as Spurs advanced to the quarter-finals – and, although he counts Defoe, Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor as rivals for the No9 shirt, he believes he has shown that he can also compete strongly for other positions.
“There’s a lot of competition - you’ve got Ade, Defoe, Soldado and me,” said Kane. “Everyone’s fighting for places and I think the gaffer’s got a lot of good choices there. I’m happy to be part of that and fight for my place.
“What’s my best position in this system? I’m not sure. Off the striker as a No10, I like to get in there, I get some goals in there – and off the left I can come in and do the same.
“People have seen me as a striker but I think there’s more to my game than that. I can play as a striker or off the striker, I’m capable of doing both of those. Whatever’s needed I’m happy to do it.
“The most important thing for me at the moment is to be playing and getting some minutes and hopefully showing people what I can do.
“There’s a lot of talented players here, everyone’s fighting for their place and there’s a lot of competition – good competition as well.
“When you get your opportunities with chances like these you have to take them and show the gaffer what you can do, and hopefully I’ve done that.”
Villas-Boas showed his faith in Kane by electing to introduce the youngster instead of Lewis Holtby, who specialises in the No10 role but remained on the bench throughout last night’s tie.
“I think he [Villas-Boas] has backed me because I’ve been doing well in training,” said Kane. “I think he’s seen qualities in me that other haven’t seen.
“It’s great to have that backing from the manager, and at times like this the hard work pays off, and getting a win and getting a goal was excellent.
“I think he’s just playing it by ear, judging who he wants to pick and who’s doing the right things, so I’ve just got to keep working hard and see what happens.
“I think I’ve been training very well. I feel sharp this season and if you keep knocking on the door you never know what can happen.”
Kane admits that Andros Townsend has been an inspiration this season, with the 22-year-old winger bursting into the spotlight and starring for both Spurs and England.
The pair have followed similar paths – including a number of loan spells away from White Hart Lane – and Kane feels it is important for young talents to get a chance.
“Andros has been excellent this season - he’s played for the seniors and he’s just pushed on,” said Kane. “I think loan spells are an important part of your career, to get that experience for times like this, so you’re ready to be called upon.
“I think it’s very important [that clubs develop homegrown talent], it’s important that they get the chance to show what they can do.
“You find a lot of the young players who have come through the ranks don’t get a chance, and the clubs bring other players in and it fizzles out.
“It’s important that, if you’re doing the right things in training, you get the chance to show the fans what you can do, and knock on the door.”
Villas-Boas was suitably impressed with Kane’s display against Hull last night – and he admits he is still unsure whether to loan the player out.
“Harry Kane is doing extremely well in training, I couldn’t be happier with Harry so that has made us delay his [loan] move,” said the head coach.
“We have a lot of interest for Harry but if the next loan move happens, we need 100 per cent certainty that he will be involved.
“With the way he is training he has more of a chance of playing in those teams - but he’s doing enough to compete for his place here.”
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