Spurs star Kane: Why target for the season has changed
PUBLISHED: 22:54 21 December 2014 | UPDATED: 08:55 22 December 2014
Harry Kane admits he has had to revise his initial targets for the season due to his red-hot form, and he believes he can be the 20-goal striker Tottenham have been looking for.
The 21-year-old forward struck his 14th goal of the season in the 2-1 home win over Burnley on Saturday and, with less than half of the season gone, he admits he has already eclipsed his main ambition for the campaign.
“I think the first target I set was to try to get to double figures in all competitions. Obviously I got there so maybe the next target is 20 goals, and I’m on 14 now so there’s six more to go,” he said.
Asked if he can be the 20-goal-a-season frontman that Spurs have been searching for, Kane replied: “I think so. I’ve been given a chance this season and I feel I’ve been doing the right things so far. But there’s still a long way to go this season, there are still plenty of games and hopefully I can keep playing and keep scoring.”
It is somewhat ironic that academy graduate Kane’s scoring record easily eclipses Spurs’ expensive other strikers, Emmanuel Adebayor – who is the club’s highest-paid player – and last summer’s £26million summer signing Roberto Soldado.
The pair have just six goals between them – eight less than Kane has managed on his own. And, while the man of the moment was certainly not intending to criticise or embarrass his colleagues, he noted: “Sometimes young English players that come through the ranks don’t always get the chance at the top level, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get this chance and I’ve been able to take it.
“It proves that you don’t always have to buy players. Sometimes there are players that are homegrown that are ready to prove themselves, and that’s the case here.”
A resurgent Spurs side have won their last three games in all competitions, and they will travel to Leicester City on Boxing Day in buoyant mood before hosting Manchester United and Chelsea in succession at White Hart Lane.
Spurs have often struggled against the top teams since the start of last season, losing against Liverpool and Manchester City earlier this campaign before a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea earlier this month - and Kane believes the Lilywhites need to back themselves in their upcoming clashes.
“They’re the kind of games where we have to start getting results,” he said. “These will be two home games in front of the home fans and we’ve got to make it hard for those sorts of teams. Hopefully we can do that and we’ll be looking to get the wins in both games.
“Why have we struggled against these teams? I’m not too sure, maybe it’s psychological. Maybe we’re already beaten before we go out there. But I think this season we’ve got great confidence within the squad. We’ve been playing very well and I think we’re going to be confident going into those games. Hopefully we can get another win on Boxing Day and really build a bit of momentum going into those games.”
The ultimate goal in the Premier League is a top-four finish, which may well necessitate finishing above Arsenal – something Spurs have failed to do since 1995, when Blackburn Rovers won the title.
Kane was one year old then, and the Walthamstow-born striker feels it is time for Mauricio Pochettino’s current crop to change the record.
“Being a Spurs fan and a local, I know how much it means to myself, the fans and everyone around the club,” he said. “We all know it’s been a long time, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re trying to put that right, we’ll try to put that right this season.
“Could we finish above Arsenal this season? Definitely. We’ve got a great bunch of lads here, we’ve got quite a few homegrown players who know how much it means to everyone around the club and the fans, so you never know.
“It would mean a lot. Arsenal have finished above us for a long time, and at any club you want to finish above the local rivals – for the fans, for when you know a few of the players and you can have a bit of a laugh with them… But we’re just taking every game as it comes and trying to get as many wins as we can.”
Kane’s words will only help to endear him to Spurs fans who joyfully sing “he’s one of our own” and gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted against Burnley on Saturday. It is a connection that the youngster cherishes.
“It’s great to hear them sing my name - and when I came off the pitch,” he said. “It makes me feel very happy and quite emotional.
“I was a fan here once, probably singing the name of someone else – probably Teddy Sheringham. I’ve touched on it before, he’s a big idol of mine. There was Robbie Keane too, players like that. To hear them singing my name in games that means a lot to the fans, it means a lot to me.
“I think it helps, it can only spur you on. You want to do your best for the fans and if they’re singing your name it always feels good.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs