Harry Kane can cement his place as a firm favourite among Tottenham fans by shooting down Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final, according to Clive Allen.
The 21-year-old striker has been in scintillating form for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and their hopes of beating their London rivals for a first trophy since these two met in the same competition in 2008 arguably hang on the shoulders of the local boy.
Having come through the ranks at Tottenham, Kane has endeared himself to Spurs’ fan-base – with the goals he has scored simply improving his stock.
Two of those 24 goals came in a memorable 5-3 victory over Chelsea on New Year’s Day and Allen believes that will give Kane the belief to fire Tottenham to League Cup glory.
“Obviously he will have great confidence going into the game,” Allen told Press Association Sport.
“It was an outstanding performance, not only from Harry but from the whole team – it was a big game and probably the first time that Spurs have dismantled Chelsea in the way that they did.
“They will have confidence going in on the back of that.”
Allen worked with Kane during the striker’s youth career at Tottenham and the 53-year-old, who was a prolific forward during his own stint at the club in the 1980s, knew there was a budding talent in the waiting.
“Having worked with him when he first came into the club you could see he was a talent,” he said.
“He knew and worked on his deficiencies, he had a great attitude towards his work and always had a natural gift for getting into the right positions to score goals.
“He improved his finishing and his technical ability over a period and thoroughly deserves to get to where he has got.
“It has happened quicker than probably even he anticipated, in respect that it has been a meteoric rise in the last couple of years but he did his ground work – he went out on loan and saw how difficult it was in the lower leagues.
“He is a great lad and with the attitude and mind he has he can go from strength to strength and get even better – as he matures he will definitely get better.
“You look at the way he has been playing, he thoroughly enjoys scoring goals for Tottenham.
“There have already been some big, important goals that he has scored and he would love nothing more than to do that in a cup final for Spurs.
“The fans obviously connect with players who have come through and Harry will be determined to get the right result and hope that he can win a trophy with a team so close to his heart.”
Kane is one of several academy products who are likely to line up for Spurs on Sunday, with Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend all classed as nurtured, home-grown talents.
Allen believes those players will play a major role against Chelsea but has also backed the players brought in, the likes of club-record signing Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen to come good.
“It always takes time with new players coming in,” he said of Pochettino’s squad. “Now there is a new manager with a new philosophy and the introduction of the younger players into the group, who are holding down regular places in the team, is showing great dividends.
“It is a policy that Spurs have had for a while – developing their home-grown talent with some exceptional imports and now it is all coming together but that takes time.
“It is something that was the intention a good few years back. There was heavy investment in the youth policy and it is great to see those young lads given the opportunity and hopefully playing in a cup final.”
:: Clive Allen was talking to Press Association Sport at the launch of www.hinch.as – a new football social network.
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