LONDON, Dec 2 ― Tottenham host Swansea tomorrow hoping Harry Kane can celebrate signing a new contract by continuing his hot scoring streak and helping them get their season firing again.
The England forward sealed an improved deal that ties him to the Londoners until 2022 ― a timely boost for a club in a bad patch on the pitch.
They go into the Swansea game having lost their last two matches, firstly at Monaco in the Champions League, a result that meant they cannot qualify for the next stage, and then at London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League.
That ended Tottenham's unbeaten start to the league campaign, an achievement which had been all the more impressive since Kane was sidelined by an ankle injury in September.
But with four goals in the four games since he returned to fitness, there is no doubting that Kane will be the man to watch at White Hart Lane once again.
Tottenham will kick off in fifth, seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea, but Kane is confident of making up that ground.
“The form of the last couple of months hasn't been where we want it to be because we've set such high standards,” the 23-year-old said.
“But it isn't the time to panic or be worried. The performance against Chelsea was very good, even though we didn't win, which was disappointing.
“We're in a good place. We're not far off the top and we've a very long way to go this season.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is understandably delighted to see Kane make a long-term commitment to the club.
And the Argentine is confident Spurs can get back to the form that saw them defeat then-leaders Manchester City in early October.
“Against Chelsea we lost but we recovered the feeling that we can play well,” Pochettino said.
“This week has been perfect because we could spend time together and train hard. We held a lot of meetings and the answer from the players was fantastic.
“We need to deliver Saturday and do a great job to try and get the three points.”
Defender Toby Alderweireld will be tested on the leg injury that has kept him out since the 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion on October 15 but Ben Davies and Erik Lamela remain sidelined.
Lamela has a hip problem that is taking longer than anticipated to heal, Pochettino confimed.
Critical period for Swansea
Swansea arrive in north London buoyed by Saturday's dramatic 5-4 win at home to Crystal Palace, their first victory under new manager Bob Bradley.
The Swans play five of the bottom 12 teams after this game and the American admitted it may well shape their season.
“I think it's a critical period between now and the beginning of the new year,” he said.
“There's a lot of work to do. The opportunity is there to turn things around, to put a bad start behind us and really give us a bit more belief that we're ready to finish the season in a strong way.”
Former manager Brian Flynn is back at Swansea as a scout and Bradley said he would have a say in any January transfer dealings.
“Recruitment starts with people who can spot talent,” he said.
“Brian's track record in that regard is special. Having that kind of football man is fantastic for all of us.” ― AFP