Mauricio Pochettino admitted he is running out of words to describe Harry Kane after the forward boosted Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of claiming a place in next season’s Champions League.
Kane scored twice as Spurs beat relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers 2-1 to take his season tally to 26 goals in all competitions and move his side to within three points of Manchester United who lie fourth.
The forward had failed to score in his previous three games but he took both his goals well to cap a fine display in front of the watching England manager Roy Hodgson.
Not for the first time this season Pochettino was able to reflect on a match-winning contribution from the 21-year-old although the Spurs manager refused to be drawn on whether his player should receive a first England call-up.
He said: “It’s difficult to say anything else about Harry, his performance today shows his strength to keep working. It’s Roy Hodgson’s decision if he plays for England or not, but all of us here in the Tottenham family are happy with him.”
Kane himself is taking nothing for granted ahead of England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at the end of this month.
The striker said: “I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. There are still a few more games until the international break so I just need to do the best I can for Spurs.”
And he added: “I’m loving my football, being out there with my team-mates and my mates. I feel good and confident, it’s important for a striker to have that. The second goal was a nice composed finish.”
Midfielder Ryan Mason will also have caught Hodgson’s eye in a hard-fought victory that ended frantically after Sandra had pulled one back for the home side in the 75th minute.
Pochettino added: “You can see the performance from the English players was fantastic
“Ryan played well but so did the team, they all showed a big character. This type of game is when you can see that the team improve and show the character I think is so important for us to get the three points.”
Spurs’ season had been in danger of unravelling after they exited the Europa League at the hands of Fiorentina and then lost the League Cup final against Chelsea within the space of three days last week.
That leaves the top four as their sole objective and they have now recorded back to back wins after those set-backs.
Pochettino said: “The reaction after going out of Europe has been fantastic. It was difficult after the defeat against Fiorentina.
“I think the response has been fantastic from the squad in the big games that have followed. We have to go away and now train hard to focus on our next match against Manchester United.”
Defeat leaves Rangers in the bottom three, three points adrift of safety and manager Chris Ramsey was left frustrated his side were denied two strong penalty appeals, particularly when Spurs’ Nabil Bentaleb appeared to handle inside the box.
Ramsey said: “There are sometimes decisions where there are fine lines but when you are in our position, you have to grab whatever you can so I am disappointed they didn’t go our way.
“You can see the players applied themselves well today but when you play the top teams they have the quality to punish any mistake.”
Veteran Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand, 36, came in for criticism, particularly for his role in Kane’s second goal.
But Ramsey said: “I think Rio Ferdinand played well. When goals go in people look to blame someone but for Rio should be praised for the way he is applying himself in training and the way he is playing.” – Agence France-Presse