Tottenham striker Harry Kane has lost confidence and needed more off-season rest, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Kane has failed to live up to the high standards he set last season, and remains without a competitive goal for Tottenham this campaign.
After his 21-goal Premier League campaign, the 22-year-old played for England at the Euro Under-21 Championship, where he also failed to score.
Pochettino believes Kane’s slow start to the season has affected his confidence, as did a lack of a break at the end of 2014-15.
“I think Harry is the same person and he has the same mentality as last season,” he said ahead of Tottenham’s clash against Manchester City on Saturday.
“But maybe at the end of the season, he rested, he went to the Euros and he didn’t score at the Euros in three games.
“He came back late for pre-season and then you need to recover the time. Sometimes, you are not in the best scoring condition when you start to play and you don’t score and your confidence goes down.
“This is probably what has happened but it is a good experience for the future.”
Without a goal in six Premier League games, Kane’s form has also impacted on Tottenham – who have just two wins to be ninth in the table.
Pochettino hopes lessons have been learned with Kane, whose breakout season also included a goal 79 seconds into his international debut.
“This is why last season, towards the end, we tried to explain that things for Harry Kane had been very, very hard,” the Argentinian added.
“Not only on the pitch, but off from the pitch as the pressure – he is a hero for Tottenham and England – was unbelievable in terms of the way that the people see him.
“It is not easy to recover because it’s not only physical or mental. It’s true that maybe the summer did not help him.”
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