Harry Kane believes Tottenham have enough steeliness about them to succeed this season, despite a second-half collapse almost costing them in the Europa League.
This is yet another campaign of transition in north London, with Mauricio Pochettino the latest man charged with bringing success to White Hart Lane.
It has so far proven a bumpy ride for the Spurs head coach, although Thursday’s 2-1 defeat of Asteras Tripolis means they return to domestic action buoyed by three straight wins in all competitions.
The victory in Greece was far from straightforward, though, as a shocking, error-riddled second half allowed Asteras to have 14 efforts of differing quality.
A late Jeronimo Barrales penalty and Federico Fazio red card led to a nervy ending, although first-half efforts from Andros Townsend and Kane proved enough of a cushion to secure the three points.
“They came out of the blocks firing and they caught us on the back foot a bit,” Kane said of the second-half performance in Tripoli.
“It’s disappointing the way we started the second half, but these are the sort of games where you have to hang in and dig deep. We managed to do that in the end and we are very happy.”
Pleased with the result they may well be, but the performance again led Pochettino to speak of the need for his players to show more defensive resilience.
It is a worryingly common complaint by the former Argentina international, who rejected England coach Gary Neville’s recent suggestion that Spurs are “weak” mentally.
Kane, too, disagrees with such criticism and believes this week’s performances alone show they can move forward.
Asked if Tottenham have a steely enough mentality, he said: “I think so. We had a great comeback in the Premier League in the last game [to win 2-1 at Aston Villa] and we dug deep to get the result here.
“We’re doing well in this competition and if we win the next game at home to Partizan that will see us through.
“You can develop it through results like this because it builds confidence. We all stuck together out there today when it got tough and you can only build from that.
“When you go into other games you know that every player has got everyone else’s back and you’re going to fight through.”
Tottenham will take that spirit into Sunday’s Premier League clash with Stoke, when Kane will be hoping to make his first top-flight start of the campaign.
Many Spurs fans have called for the 21-year-old to get a role from the outset after a fine scoring run, which he made eight goals in as many games against Asteras.
“The most important thing was to get the three points,” Kane said. “We got the win we wanted – it was a tough game but we got there in the end.
“We’re very keen to get the three points on Sunday in front of the home fans. We want to play well and impress and get the win.”
If Kane starts to make a bigger impression in the league, expect him to be representing England sooner rather than later.
Fresh from helping the Under-21s side qualify for next summer’s European Championship, senior boss Roy Hodgson said at Thursday’s squad announcement the senior team have their “eyes on” Kane.
“I haven’t heard about Hodgson but I will look out for it,” he said when told of the comments.
“It’s great that he has been talking about me and I have to keep my head down, keep doing what I’m doing and I hope the rewards are there.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in a lot of competitions and I have to keep trying to impress and be ready when I’m called on.”
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