Tottenham monitoring Kane 'hour by hour' before EFL Cup final

By Sports Desk April 23, 2021

Tottenham are still waiting to decide if Harry Kane will feature in Sunday's EFL Cup final, but Ryan Mason says the club will take no risks with their talisman.

Kane suffered an ankle injury in last week's draw at Everton, putting his involvement in the Wembley meeting with Manchester City in doubt.

The England captain has still not returned to training.

No player has scored more club goals at Wembley than Kane, who has 31 in 44 games at the national stadium for Spurs, but Mason is staying patient.

"We're not sure yet," the interim head coach said of Kane's status. "He didn't train with the team today but we'll have more of an idea tomorrow to see if we can get him back on the pitch.

"I'm not really sure. It's a case of taking it hour by hour now. The days are obviously running out.

"It's a case of seeing how he feels in the next four hours, the next six hours, and taking it from there."

Kane has played in each of Tottenham's three games en route to the final, scoring in the quarter-final against Stoke City.

Mason trusts the striker will contribute to making the right call on his fitness this week.

"Harry is a top professional," he said. "We're taking it hour by hour and we'll see how he feels.

"What we're not going to do - and what Harry's not going to do - is put his body on the line if he doesn't feel like it's suitable. We're never going to put Harry in that position, absolutely not.

"But we'll see what happens, see how he feels tomorrow, and then we'll start making a decision from there.

"It's a combined effort. How does the player feel? What do the medics feel? What's the advice? What are the chances of something happening?

"Harry's a mature man, a mature professional footballer. He's had to deal with certain situations and I think, ultimately, we'll speak to him, with no pressure.

"How d'you feel? What are you feeling? We'll go from there."

Mason does not feel the situation is comparable to Spurs' previous final appearance in the Champions League in 2018-19 when Kane returned from injury ahead of schedule and mustered only a single shot in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

"I think it was completely different because Harry had a very long time out injured for the Champions League final," Mason said.

"I don't know if Harry's going to be available for training tomorrow, let alone the game on Sunday, but if he is then it's a quick turnaround.

"A week without training is not a problem for someone in Harry's condition.

"We're going to have to probably assess it later tonight, early in the morning and see if we can get him on the pitch."

Mason - already the most junior Premier League coach of all time - will become the youngest ever EFL Cup final manager (29y 316d). Gianluca Vialli had been the youngest until now (33y 263d) as he guided Chelsea to victory in 1998.

"It means a hell of a lot," he said. "I've not really thought about it a great deal, because I've been preparing for the game, but this isn't really about me.

"It's about the football club, it's about Tottenham Hotspur being involved in these big matches, our fans getting to see us in these big matches.

"My focus is fully on the match. Maybe once the season's done and I get some time to think, I'll look back on it and be very proud."

Tottenham are without silverware since the 2008 final victory over Chelsea, while opponents City are bidding for a record-equalling eighth triumph and fourth in a row.

"I think there was a two or three-year period where Tottenham had chances and maybe should have [won something], but football doesn't always work out like that," Mason said.

"What they did do is develop a great team and the club went in a direction that we wanted - that's how Tottenham should go about things.

"Listen, unfortunately, we didn't get over the line, but if we don't get over the line on Sunday, we still have our identity and our DNA as a football club. That's the most important thing."

Related items

  • Haaland not fit to play full part against Bayern in Klassiker clash Haaland not fit to play full part against Bayern in Klassiker clash

    Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose has confirmed Erling Haaland is not fit enough to play a full part in this weekend's key Klassiker clash with Bayern Munich.

    Haaland scored just seven minutes into his comeback from a six-week injury lay-off in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

    That was the Norway striker's 50th Bundesliga goal, reaching the landmark in just 50 matches and becoming the youngest ever player to do so at 21 years and four months.

    However, with just those 17 minutes of football to his name since sustaining a hip injury on October 19, Haaland will not be considered to play the whole game against Bayern.

    "Erling himself knows his situation," Rose said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "He has had a good week of training behind him. 

    "But we all know that we have to be careful a little longer. He will certainly not be ready for 90 minutes, so we will have to see how long he can go."

     

    Haaland has averaged 1.12 goals per 90 minutes played in Germany's top flight, scoring 40 with his left foot, six with his right and four headers.

    Since making his Dortmund bow in January last year, only Robert Lewandowski (70 goals in 56 games) has scored more Bundesliga goals than the ex-Salzburg man.

    Indeed, no player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Bayern striker Lewandowski's 25.

    Despite his continued brilliance in front of goal, Lewandowski finished second to record-extending seven-time winner Lionel Messi at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

    Rather than feel sorry for himself, however, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is backing Lewandowski to be extra fired up against Dortmund on Saturday.

    "I've already said that he's in great shape and it's not impossible that he could win this thing again," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match news conference. 

    "He can't change the past. He's working every day on the present and the future gets created with his work in the present. I think it could be possible that he wins it someday.

    "And I'm sure that, when you look at his current numbers without mathematical talent like me, it looks good for this season.  

    "Therefore, I believe that he can do it and that those who vote will vote for him next year and say that he deserves the Ballon d'Or.

    "It is important to accept this disappointment but also to take energy and motivation for other big performances. And I'm confident that he has this drive."

     

    Against no team has Lewandowski scored more goals in all competitions than against former side Dortmund (24, level with his record against Wolfsburg).

    Dortmund have lost their past six competitive matches against Bayern, but they enter this contest with six wins in their previous seven leagues games and are just a point behind Bayern.

    Asked how his side go about beating reigning champions and current pacesetters Bayern at Signal Iduna Park, Rose said: "We need to play well in every department.

    "I believe that Bayern have a clear structure with the ball and develop a goal risk from it with a lot of force. It is difficult to grasp. 

    "It will be important to eliminate the offensive quality around Lewandowski and the wingers and to keep Munich out of the penalty area as much as possible."

  • Bayern Munich to play behind closed doors for remainder of 2021 due to COVID-19 Bayern Munich to play behind closed doors for remainder of 2021 due to COVID-19

    Bayern Munich will play the remainder of their home matches this year behind closed doors due to rising coronavirus rates in Bavaria.

    Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Soder revealed earlier this week that fans were set to be prevented from attending games "for the foreseeable future".

    The Bavarian government on Friday approved increased measures in an attempt to contain the pandemic, including bans on spectators at large, cross-region sporting events until the end of the year.

    Bayern will face Barcelona in their final Champions League Group E match next Wednesday without fans.

    The Bundesliga leaders, already assured of a place in the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition, will then take on Mainz on December 11 and Wolfsburg six days later behind closed doors before the mid-season hiatus.

    Bayern vice-chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen said: "It's a big blow to have to play in front of empty stands at the Allianz Arena again.

    "Football is only half as nice without our fans in the stadium, not to mention the financial effects.

    "We must of course accept the decision as it is, even though we've done everything we could for the health of our visitors at the Allianz Arena with the 2G+ rule and our hygiene concept."

    Augsburg and Greuther Furth will also be affected, while similar measures have been introduced in neighbouring Baden-Wurttemberg, with Freiburg, Stuttgart and Hoffenheim seeing capacities reduced to 750 spectators.

  • Ramos again ruled out as Pochettino vows to make changes against Lens Ramos again ruled out as Pochettino vows to make changes against Lens

    Sergio Ramos has been ruled out of Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Lens as the defender's injury-plagued start to life in the French capital goes on. 

    The 35-year-old has endured a frustrating time of things since arriving at the Parc des Princes from Real Madrid, whom he had represented for the previous 16 seasons.

    Ramos made his long-awaited debut in last weekend's 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne, but he was not included in the squad for the midweek stalemate against Nice.

    Spain international Ramos will again be absent on Saturday when PSG travel to Lens as Mauricio Pochettino's side attempt to get back to winning ways in Ligue 1.

    "Ramos' workload has been adapted for muscle fatigue following his return to play. He will resume training with the squad on Sunday," read an update on PSG's official website.

    Madrid legend Ramos has played just six matches at club level this calendar year, totalling 485 minutes on the field, while his last appearance for Spain came in March.

    The 15 LaLiga games Ramos started last season was the fewest he managed for the club and a big drop from the 35 games started in the season before.

     

    As well as being without Ramos against Lens, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler and Neymar are also absent for PSG, with the latter ruled out for the remainder of the year.

    Pochettino confirmed at Friday's pre-match news conference that he intends to make changes following his side's 0-0 draw with Nice.

    That was the third time PSG have failed to score in their last 11 games, with Lionel Messi again firing a blank to leave his tally at one goal in eight Ligue 1 appearances.

    Indeed, Messi has the highest differential (2.95) between his goals scored (1) and his expected goals (xG) (3.95) in Ligue 1 this term.

    However, Pochettino is confident his compatriot will soon find his scoring touch in front of goal.

    "It's a question of efficiency," Pochettino said. "Leo is someone who has always scored goals. It's also a matter of time and he's going to score a lot of goals here."

    With the January transfer window now less than a month away, Pochettino is not yet thinking about bringing in any new recruits to bolster his star-studded squad.

    "I'm not waiting for signatures at the winter break. I didn't talk about that after the Nice match. This is not the time to talk about this at all," he added.

    "When the time comes, we will talk to the club to see if there are any needs in the team, but we are far from that."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.