Tuesday 17 July 2018

Mauricio Pochettino praises record-equalling Harry Kane

Harry Kane scored his seventh hat-trick of the year to give Spurs a 3-0 win at Burnley
Harry Kane scored his seventh hat-trick of the year to give Spurs a 3-0 win at Burnley

Mauricio Pochettino hailed Harry Kane's "massive achievement" after he equalled Alan Shearer's Premier League era record for goals in a calendar year.

The striker scored a hat-trick to earn Tottenham a 3-0 victory over Burnley, taking his league tally for 2017 to 36 goals, the same mark as Shearer managed in 1995.

Kane has a final chance to break the record against Southampton on Boxing Day, while two goals would boost his overall tally to 55 and see him overtake Lionel Messi as Europe's leading marksman for the year.

He told BT Sport: "A few people have been speaking about it. I came into this game hoping I could get a couple and take it to Southampton. When I had the three I wanted to get the fourth."

Pochettino must be running out of superlatives for the England man, whose finishing was again of the highest quality.

"His contribution not only with goals, with attitude, professional, ethic, how he works, I think it's fantastic," said the Spurs boss.

"He's a massive example for everyone and of course I'm so happy for him because not only we achieved the three points but he equalled the record with Alan Shearer.

"Of course he needs one more to set the record and I think it's a massive individual achievement for him."

Kane's first came from the penalty spot after only seven minutes, with Dele Alli earning himself pantomime villain status for tumbling under a clumsy challenge from Kevin Long.

Kane then produced the type of unfussy yet superb finishes that have become his trademark in the 69th and 79th minutes to get Tottenham back on track after last weekend's humbling at Manchester City.

"I think it's an important victory for us," said Pochettino, whose side climbed above Burnley into fifth place.

"Not only the three points, I think the way we achieved the victory was very good. It means a lot for us to be in a position again to compete for the top four and change a little bit the feeling from last week."

Pochettino also praised Alli, whose discipline came under the spotlight again for a strong early challenge on Charlie Taylor that had the Burnley fans baying for a red card.

Michael Oliver opted for yellow but Alli was booed loudly throughout following the penalty incident.

Pochettino said: "His personality and character, he doesn't care what happens around him. He plays in the same way. That is why he has achieved all that he's achieved in a very short period.

"I think it was yellow. I am happy with his performance and contribution. The penalty was a penalty and then he was always into the game trying to help the team and it's coming."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt both decisions were questionable but had no argument with the result and was awed by Kane's performance.

"There's some frustration about decisions today, but not decisions that were necessarily going to change the event, only a possible sending off because they were excellent today, simple as that," said Dyche.

"Some of the referees talk about that orange card and it's probably one of them. Kevin doesn't need to challenge, but he (Alli) gets a toe on it and he's going down and then the contact comes.

"But Kane was absolutely top class. They're a really good side but he makes them an even better side. It's one of the best performances I've seen this season."

Press Association

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