Tottenham boss Pochettino reacts to claims that striker Kane is not fit
Mauricio Pochettino has told critics that Spurs know best when it comes to Harry Kane.
The England striker has failed to score a Premier League goal in August, despite playing 14 games over the past four years.
But Tottenham boss Pochettino has hit back at claims that Kane looks like he needs a longer rest following the World Cup.
The Golden Boot winner in Russia has had just one full summer off – in 2017 – in the last four years.
Two years ago he was in France for the European Championships and the year before he played in the Under-21 equivalent.
Last week Kane – who became a father again this summer – looked below-par in Tottenham’s Premier League win at Newcastle.
It sparked suggestions that Pochettino should give the England captain a break to rediscover his edge.
But the Spurs boss insisted he and his coaching team know 25-year-old Kane better than anyone.
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“I respect all opinions.” said Pochettino, speaking ahead of today’s Premier League clash against Fulham at Wembley.
“I only have my own truth. We all have our own truths about what we see and how we manage. We can’t explain how we manage players behind the scenes.
“The people outside don’t know how Harry Kane was after playing 90 minutes last week.
“They don’t know if Harry was off on Sunday, they don’t know if on Monday he was training or relaxing, or having a session or in the gym.
“Be sure that I am not going to take a risk with him.
“If we thought that we would be taking a risk by playing him, be sure he is not going to play. But the 25-30 people who are coaches, sport scientists and physios here, we talk a lot about fitness, health and everything. If we are wrong it is 25-30 people who are wrong. When we take a decision about health it is not a football decision.”
In total Kane played 59 games for club and country last season, narrowly missing out on another Premier League Golden Boot but helping England reach the World Cup semi-finals.
He has defied ankle ligament injuries in each of the last two campaigns to bounce back to action.
Despite suggestions that he returned too soon after last season’s setback, Kane went on to defy expectations and outscore every other player in Russia.
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Yet TV pundits Glenn Hoddle and Gary Neville were among the ex-pros who suggested Kane did not look fit at the tournament.
Pochettino maintained he would continue to rely on his trusted coaching staff to manage the welfare of Kane and other Tottenham stars like Kieran Trippier.
He went on: “The responsibility for (assistant manager) Jesus Perez, who co-ordinates everything, is to tell me ‘this player can play and it’s not a risk’. But you know in football it’s always impossible.
“The fittest players can get injuries. And if that happens someone will say you made a bad decision. But it is not easy.
“Taking decisions is the most difficult thing. The easy thing is to give your opinion afterwards.”
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