Spurs star Kane says his physical development has been key to brilliant form
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 December 2014
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Harry Kane says his physical development has been a key factor in his stunning goalscoring form after he helped Tottenham to enjoy a “Christmas bonus” at Leicester on Boxing Day.
The 21-year-old has come of age in 2014, having got his big chance under Tim Sherwood at the back end of last season and scored in three consecutive league games in April.
Kane has gone on to hit 15 goals for Spurs in the first half of this campaign, including the early opener in yesterday’s 2-1 victory at Leicester City - his fourth strike in four games.
The England Under-21 international looks noticeably stronger on the ball and more powerful in the air these days, and he admits there has been a big improvement in that area in 2014.
“I’ve done a lot of gym work, especially this season, in pre-season and stuff – and I think I’ve just developed as I’ve got older as well,” he said.
“I’m 21 now, muscles got bigger and I grew a bit as well. It was all fairly natural and then, when you’re working on top of it, it comes together. Definitely in the last year or so I’ve got fitter and stronger, and it’s helped my game.
“It’s not specifically something the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] wanted from me, he wanted everyone to get as fit and strong as they could.
“We did a lot of gym sessions and fitness sessions and I think it’s helped us. We looked fit going into the Christmas period - when some teams fizzle out we’re looking good and hopefully we can continue that.”
The Tottenham squad travelled up to Leicester on Christmas Day, spending the evening away from their families, so Kane says it was particularly rewarding to return to north London with three points in the bag on Boxing Day.
“That’s obviously part of the Christmas period for footballers, everyone knows that, but we wanted to come here and get the win,” he said. “It’s a nice little Christmas bonus to get that.
“We wanted to build on the momentum we’ve built up and we’ve got two tough games coming up [against Manchester United and Chelsea] so it’s a massive three points.”
Kane opened the scoring inside the first minute at Leicester, but the hosts responded well and were unfortunate not to be level at the break after missing a number of chances.
The equaliser came three minutes after the interval through Leonardo Ulloa, and Riyad Mahrez nearly put the Foxes ahead when his free kick hit the bar, but Tottenham fought back themselves and emerged victorious thanks to Christian Eriksen’s winner.
Kane said: “We got the goal early on and I think it probably made us play worse because we dropped off them and gave them a bit more respect. They built up some momentum and got the goal.
“But we’re playing well. After they scored we picked it up again and created some more chances and Christian got us the win with a magical free kick.
“Sometimes you have to come away from home and it’s a tough game. Leicester made it tough for us, they had some good chances, but sometimes you’ve got to grind out the result and we got the three points and that’s all that matters.
“I’m confident at the moment, I just want to be playing. There are plenty of games over Christmas so that’s been good for me. I just want to get out there and I feel confident and we’re picking up wins as well, which is even better.”
Kane was booed by some of the Leicester fans after an unsuccessful three-month loan spell in 2013. He said: “I was pumped up for the game so when I scored so early on a bit of emotion came out.
“It wasn’t the best loan but it was an experience for me when I came here and I learned from it. It’s definitely helped me in my career.”
After an inconsistent start to the season, Tottenham are now just two points outside the Champions League spots and Kane believes the Lilywhites are strong contenders.
“The top four’s wide open at the moment,” he said. “There are a lot of teams in the hunt so we’ve just got to keep performing and keep focused.
“We’ve definitely been playing better in recent weeks, and in the last couple of months we’ve got used to the way the manager wants us to play. I think it’s coming together. “Man United’s a tough game on Sunday, everyone knows that, but we go into it after winning our last four on the bounce, so there’s definitely a bit of momentum for us there and hopefully we can take it into the game.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs