Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane’s return to goalscoring form could prove crucial in Tottenham’s fight for the Premier League title.
Kane, still playing in a protective face mask, scored a memorable goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal to keep Spurs three points clear of their north London rivals but two further off Leicester City at the summit.
The Gunners had taken the lead at White Hart Lane courtesy of an Aaron Ramsey strike but – after Francis Coquelin’s red card for the visitors – Tottenham struck back through Toby Alderweireld and a wonderful, curling effort from Kane.
With Kane having scored just one in six ahead of the game, Pochettino believes his main striker has rediscovered his form at a crucial stage in the season.
“Yes, he came from a period that was difficult for him,” Pochettino said when asked if Kane’s strike will be good for his confidence.
“I think it’s good point to lift him and his confidence. It’s important for the team that Harry has started to score again.
“I have confidence in him. Harry has a strong mentality and is a very good player and it’s true to play with the mask isn’t easy.
“But I think this was a big opportunity to score and show he is back and it’s important for him and the team.”
Kane disappointed only to draw
Kane was delighted with the goal but was ultimately left cursing the fact Spurs could not see out a win against the 10 men which would have moved them top of the table for a few hours at least.
It was the second time in a matter of days that Pochettino’s side had spurned the chance to go top for the first time since 1964 – but Kane does not attach any significance to their missed opportunities.
“I don’t think you can read too much into that,” he said.
“We’ve had a tough week with some tough games. Look, a point against Arsenal is not the worst result in the world.
“It still keeps us ahead of them by three points, and we have a good goal difference. We can’t control what other teams do, we can only control what we do and I feel we are playing well.
“We just have to get back to winning ways against Villa. We’re leaving disappointed. With them going down to 10 men and our two quick goals, we should have then gone on to get a third and a fourth and finish the game off.
“We maybe dropped off a little bit too much and gave them space to play, and we got punished for it. It’s a lesson we have to learn from.
“But at the end of the day it is another point against a top side and we can look forward to the games ahead.”