Thursday, January 27, 2022

Conte never doubted Kane during lean scoring spell

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Dec 2021

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Antonio Conte insisted he never doubted Harry Kane during the striker’s dry spell of goals for Tottenham.

Kane, who has won the Premier League Golden Boot award on three occasions, managed just one goal in his opening 13 league games in the 2021-22 campaign, but new head coach Conte remained enthusiastic over his forward’s qualities.

The England international has responded to that support by finding the net twice in his past two league games against Liverpool and Crystal Palace respectively.

Kane struck against Jurgen Klopp’s side with his first home league goal since May and just his second of the season, before he again netted the opener against Palace on Sunday.

The latter strike was Kane’s sixth consecutive Boxing Day appearance with a goal as he equalled Robbie Fowler’s Premier League scoring record of nine goals on the day after Christmas, and Conte claimed he always knew his forward would return to form.

“When I say that we have top players and for sure Harry is one of these,” Conte told reporters.

“We are talking about a top-class striker, and I wasn’t worried when he didn’t score. And I know in every game we created chances and to have Harry is a good thing for me and therefore for my team.

“Now I repeat, we have to continue to work and improve the link also with the strikers, with the wing-backs, with the midfielders.

“We need to improve the confidence and to take more and more personality, to play football and to control the game more. 

“Sometimes we lose the control and I think a great team, a big team has to stay in every moment, into the game to understand what is happening.”

Spurs have been reinvigorated under Conte, who became just the third Tottenham manager to remain unbeaten in his first six league games in charge after Jacques Santini in 2004-05 and Tim Sherwood in 2013-14.

The former Inter head coach afforded Kane 25 minutes of rest in a dominant 3-0 win over 10-man Palace, but hinted at potentially rotating his other players ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Southampton.

“It is not easy for us, for every team to play after 48 hours is not simple,” he added.

“When you have this type of situation if you have a strong squad it’s easier, because you can make rotation and try to give rest and have a fresher team. We will see tomorrow [Tuesday] because I want to understand the real physical condition of my squad.

“It’s normal when you change many players that it’s not simple. You can have a fresh team on one hand but on the other you can lose a bit of identity.

“We will try and make the best decision but it won’t be easy.”

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