Kane: I've proved I can be a lone striker for Spurs - and I've shown my character
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:06 29 August 2014
Harry Kane believes he proved that he can play as a lone striker against AEL Limassol last night – and he also feels he passed an important test of character after his missed penalty.
Kane played behind the striker as a No10 in the first leg of the Europa League play-off in Cyprus last week, impressing with a dangerous display and scoring his first goal of the season.
Last night, in the return leg at White Hart Lane, the 21-year-old was deployed up front as a No9 in place of Emmanuel Adebayor, who was rested.
Kane missed an early spot-kick, having had to wait for eight nerve-wracking minutes after Limassol keeper Karim Fegrouche was injured and stretchered off - but he continued to make chances and scored the opening goal in the 45th minute.
Given that Spurs currently only have two other options as a lone striker – Adebayor and Roberto Soldado – Kane feels he has proved that he can lead the line if necessary, and that he can recover quickly from a setback.
“I played No10 last week and got my goal, and I’ve played as a No9 this week in a different sort of role, but again I got my goal,” he said. “I’m happy doing both, I just want to be on the pitch playing.
“There’s competitions for places and I have got to take my chance when they’re given to me. Ade is doing well at the minute and, as a team, we’re doing very well.
“I don’t know quite how long it was [waiting for the penalty] but it felt like ages. It’s one of those things - I went for power down the middle and the goalkeeper stuck a leg out and unfortunately he saved it. I’m happy to get on the scoresheet.
“When I missed the penalty, I thought to myself ‘let’s see what you’ve got about yourself’.
“I felt confident that I was going to take my next chance and I was able to do that. If I keep getting chances, I will score goals.
“As a striker you want to be scoring every time you step on the pitch. It was great to get that goal - that’s two in two starts now this season and hopefully I can continue this form and see where it takes me.
“I’m not kid any more, I’m 21 now and hopefully I can establish myself in this team. We’re playing well as a team, we’re playing well together and we’re looking forward to the games to come.
“When you’re playing well and scoring goals, you can’t wait for the next game to come. That’s how I feel at the moment, I want that next game and I want to be on the pitch showing everyone what I can do, so I certainly feel more confident.”
While Roy Hodgson has selected a number of uncapped players for his senior England squad – including Tottenham’s Danny Rose – Kane has been picked for the Under-21s again.
However, the striker insists he wasn’t disappointed and wasn’t expecting a call-up.
“I think it’s a bit early,” he said. “I have just got to keep focused on what I’m doing here. It’s great to be called up to the Under-21s, so hopefully I can do well in those games and continue my good club form.
“Danny’s been playing great this season and it’s great to see him get called up. Andros [Townsend] got in there last season and again this season, so it shows they’re doing the right things. It shows that if you’re playing well, the manager [Hodgson] will pick you.”
Kane is also eligible to play for Ireland through his grandparents, but he says there is no chance he will switch allegiances – and that he is happy to wait for Hodgson’s call.
“There’s no decision there,” he said. “Obviously I’m playing for England’s Under-21s at the minute and I want to break into that senior squad.
“But I’m just focused on what I’m doing at my club and we’ve got a big game on Sunday [against Liverpool]. Then we go away and hopefully there’ll be a couple more goals.”
Kane will be joined by three other Tottenham players in the England Under-21 squad – Eric Dier, Tom Carroll, who is on loan at Swansea, and Alex Pritchard, who is on loan at Brentford.
“It’s great for the four of us to get the call-up,” says Kane. “It shows we’ve been doing well and it shows the reward - and it’s good to have your mates alongside you when you go away at international level as well.”
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