Wednesday 21 August 2019

Kane absence makes Tottenham tougher to beat – Siewert

The England captain picked up an ankle injury in the Champions League win against Manchester City.

Jan Siewert said Tottenham present fresh challenges without Harry Kane (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jan Siewert said Tottenham present fresh challenges without Harry Kane (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Ian Parker, Press Association Sport

Huddersfield manager Jan Siewert believes the absence of Harry Kane will make Tottenham tougher opponents when the Terriers head to London on Saturday.

Kane picked up an ankle injury in the midweek Champions League win over Manchester City and may have played his final game of the season.

But the England captain’s absence means Siewert must tear up his scouting reports for the match and think again.

“It’s interesting because it definitely changes them,” he said. “With him they play in different shapes and when he didn’t play they had other shapes. In a way it makes it more difficult.

“But for me it’s about how we play, how we solve the challenges they give us.”

Tottenham also have a question mark over the fitness of Dele Alli and might be at risk of overlooking a home game against the already-relegated Terriers ahead of a Champions League and Premier League double-header away to Manchester City next week.

But asked if this was the perfect time to play them, Siewert said: “The thing in football is there’s never a perfect time.

“They are all professional players, they all want to win games.”

Huddersfield’s relegation to the Championship was confirmed before the end of March, but with five Premier League games left to play, Siewert has demanded there is no drop in standards from his players.

“The target for us is to give our best in the whole training session, in the whole of the game, because we have to represent the club,” he said.

“We can still be proud to be part of this league. Unfortunately at the end of the season we won’t be – but for now we are part of this league.”

Siewert admitted he would need to check on the fitness of a few players after illness hit the squad earlier in the week, but said the main factor affecting who might play would be their frame of mind following confirmation of the drop.

“We are all human beings,” he said. “It makes everyone sad that relegation is confirmed. Especially in the first week after, it was hard. This week it was a bit better but of course it is in our minds.

“I have to look at the players and find the ones who are able to perform.”

Few will give Huddersfield much of a chance at Tottenham’s new stadium on Saturday, or in any of their remaining games with Liverpool and Manchester United still to come, but Siewert said that did not concern him.

“When you look at our opponents which we will play, of course it is not easy,” he said. “But we have to try, this is our ambition.

“Each team we will play, they are all strong teams. No one expects anything from us. Everyone expects something from them. So we are free to go there and give our best.”

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