Mauricio Pochettino has insisted his players do have no need to prove they can win without Harry Kane as the lads head to Manchester United on Saturday without the injured forward according to an article in The Belfast Telegraph.
Kane was of course forced off late on in last weekend’s 4-1 win over Liverpool with a hamstring issue and missed the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham.
Mauricio Pochettino today confirmed the 24-year-old will not feature against United as we try to overtake Jose Mourinho’s side in to 2nd in the Premier League table.
The Spurs manager said he was not willing to take a “risk” by involving Kane especially with other big games coming thick and fast.
There has been a war of words with Pep Guardiola recently, when the Manchester City boss labelled Tottenham as “the Harry Kane team” but Mauricio referenced last term, when we coped without the injured Kane, as proof we can be successful without our main man.
“We don’t need to prove ourselves, that we’re Tottenham,” Pochettino claimed.
“Maybe people expect that but for us, no. I think last season, in the period he was injured, you can see the stats and the games we played – win and lose with Harry, win and lose without Harry.
He added: “I’m disappointed because he is our main striker and I think he is one of the best strikers in Europe, in the world, and always you are going to miss your best striker. I am not silly or stupid to talk in a different way.
“You always want all the players available… We always believe in collective, the squad. During the season, problems happen and you must trust all the players, all the squad.”
Pochettino said it was only a “small issue” but he did not want to risk his long term fitness by playing him against United.
“We can’t take the risk,” the Argentinian said.
“The doctor and medical staff made the decision to not take the risk. There is no sense in taking that risk and making the problem bigger.
“The players are not machines and it is so difficult to cope with international duty and playing every three days.
“It is not a big problem, only a small issue, but he is not going to play (on Saturday)
Fernando Llorente may well be handed his full Premier League debut in place of Kane, or Poch may opt to use Son Heung-min as an out-and-out striker.
“We need to wait until (Saturday) to decide the formation,” he added.
“We can use different formations. We worked a lot on it in pre-season. The players can adapt to one or another shape. We need to assess everyone and make a decision to be competitive.”
We head to Old Trafford level on points with United. Losing Kane is a blow but we have the ability to cope, and of course we didn’t lose a league game last season without him. Certainly be interesting to see what Pochettino does
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