EPL

Kane will put Spurs needs over winning Golden Boot, says Mason

By Sports Desk May 14, 2021

Harry Kane would gladly sacrifice individual honours if it meant Tottenham ended the Premier League season on a high by winning their three remaining matches, according to caretaker boss Ryan Mason.

The England captain has failed to score in his last two league games and has been joined at the top of the scoring charts by Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who took his goals tally to 21 with a strike against Manchester United on Thursday.

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Kane's Tottenham team-mate Son Heung-min are next on the list with 18 and 17 goals respectively, followed by Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin on 16.

Spurs face Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester City in their final three league games and Mason insists the team will come first for Kane, who previously finished top scorer in the English top flight in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

"I know Harry, he's one of my best friends," Mason said at a pre-match news conference on Friday ahead of this weekend's home match with Wolves.

"It he can help us win games and also win the Golden Boot, then happy days. But he won't compromise the team for the individual awards."

Spurs were beaten 3-1 by Leeds United last time out in the Premier League and are now eight points adrift of the top four with a game in hand, while Liverpool and West Ham are four and two points better off respectively in the Europa League spots.

Mason's side will likely have to see out the season by achieving three wins in a row to qualify for UEFA's secondary competition, something that they have not achieved yet in the top flight this calendar year.

The likelihood is that if Spurs do take nine points from nine, Kane will have had a major say in that success.

"Our target is to get as many points as possible and see where we finish," Mason said. "It's very difficult in the Premier League to win three games in a row. Our focus for now has to be on Wolves this weekend. 

"At the end of next week we can see where we are. We want to be in European competition, that's what we expect."

Last week's defeat to Leeds was Tottenham's 11th loss of the season in the Premier League, matching their tally for the whole of 2019-20. Five of those have been defeats by two or more goals - their most in a season since 2014-15 (also five).

Mason, who has overseen Spurs' last four matches since the departure of Jose Mourinho, including the EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City, acknowledges the importance of responding with three points against Wolves on Sunday.

"Losing games hurts," he said. "To lose a cup final hurts massively, to lose a league game hurts massively. They are different emotions because the games were different.

"There were moments in the Leeds one that shaped how the game went against us. We want to win and we expect to win. Any game we lose is disappointing.

"The best therapy is being back on the training pitch. Hopefully at the weekend we'll be fully prepared."

Tottenham have lost three of their six home Premier League games against Wolves (50 per cent) - only against Nottingham Forest (60 per cent) have they lost a higher percentage in the competition.

That includes back-to-back away wins in this fixture for Wolves, who are 11 points worse off than their opponents in the table.

This latest meeting between the sides could be overshadowed by possible protests ahead of the game, with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust calling for the club's executive board to resign as the fallout from the collapsed Super League continues.

However, while Mason respects the supporters' right to protest, he hopes they will get behind their team on the field when fans are allowed back into grounds from next week.

"I think firstly, I trust our security, the players' safety is the most important thing," Mason said. "I respect the fans, their opinion matters, it really does. We want our fans to be aligned, all pulling in the same direction.

"Our chairman and our board have done incredible for this football club. I know our fans respect that. The most important thing is the connection with the fans, who are entitled to their opinion.

"To get them back into our stadium will be a massive bonus. It's going to be an incredible feeling. It's been such a long time coming. The noise, we know our fans get behind the team, we're looking forward to that.

"We've got a massive game on Sunday, but of course we're excited. The football world, society in general, is excited by some sort of normality."

Mason confirmed full-back Ben Davies is unlikely to play in any of Tottenham's remaining three games, but his side otherwise have no fresh injury concerns.

Related items

  • Lakers to retire Gasol's number 16 jersey Lakers to retire Gasol's number 16 jersey

    The Los Angeles Lakers will honour Spanish legend Pau Gasol when they retire his number 16 jersey next year.

    A ceremony will take place on March 7, 2023 when the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Gasol played for the Lakers between 2008 and 2014, having arrived from Memphis, appearing in three NBA Finals and winning two championships alongside Kobe Bryant.

    Three of his six All-Star appearances came during his time in Los Angeles, before he left for the Chicago Bulls in 2014.

    After time with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks, Gasol returned to Europe for a second spell with Barcelona, where his career had begun, before retiring in October last year at the age of 41.

    Following the announcement, Gasol took to Twitter to thank his former franchise, writing: "Beyond thankful and honoured!!!"

    Gasol had an average of 17.7 points per game during his time with the Lakers, as well 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks in 429 appearances.

    He will join a number of legends, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant and Magic Johnson, in having his jersey retired by the Lakers.

  • Rodgers: Fofana not for sale Rodgers: Fofana not for sale

    Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has reiterated that defender Wesley Fofana is "not for sale" as Chelsea reportedly remain keen to secure his services.

    The 21-year-old centre-back has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge after missing out on Jules Kounde, who joined Barcelona.

    The Foxes are said to have rejected two bids from Chelsea and it has been suggested that a world-record fee for a defender may be required to prise him away from the King Power Stadium.

    That record currently stands at £80million, which Leicester received from Manchester United for the signature of Harry Maguire.

    Fofana has played in Leicester's opening two league games of the Premier League season, and Rodgers expects him to stay at the club.

    "The idea is that he’s still very much a Leicester City player," Rodgers told reporters. "I’ve said a number of times that he’s not for sale.

    "The club have made that clear so unless anything changes, I would expect him to be here."

    Fofana is one of a number of players linked with a move away from Leicester, with midfielders Youri Tielemans and James Maddison linked with Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively.

  • 'It's right to stay in my place' – Conte confident he will be on touchline against Wolves 'It's right to stay in my place' – Conte confident he will be on touchline against Wolves

    Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte believes he should be allowed on the touchline against Wolves after being charged by the FA for his behaviour against Chelsea.

    The charge came after he was involved in multiple incidents with Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel during and after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    An altercation after the final whistle led to both Tuchel and Conte receiving red cards, and the subsequent FA charges mean it is unclear whether both will be allowed on the sidelines for their respective Premier League fixtures this upcoming weekend.

    Conte though believes he should be allowed in the dugout against Wolves, though, telling reporters during his pre-match press conference: "I hope so. It's right, it's right to stay in my place.

    "Then I repeat for sure after this type of situation you can learn a lot but at the same time I think from my situation I was good to keep calm and [I] didn't have an excessive reaction."

    Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League with four points from their opening two games, but will be without key defender Cristian Romero for Saturday's meeting with Wolves due to injury.

    "About Cristian, he had a little problem during the game against Chelsea in the final part of the game," Conte said.

    "It's a little problem and after the game he started to feel a bit of pain in his adductor [muscle]. We checked him.

    "The player wanted to give availability but in this situation we have a lot of games to play, it would be stupid to take risk. For this reason he is not available for Wolves."

    Spurs have beefed up their squad in this transfer window with Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Clement Lenglet, Fraser Forster and Djed Spence arriving.

    This week, Destiny Udogie signed from Udinese, though the defender will remain with the Serie A club for the rest of the 2022-23 season.

    Tottenham's focus will now be on trimming their squad, with Tanguy Ndombele set to complete a switch to Napoli, while Giovani Lo Celso has rejoined Villarreal on loan, though Conte did not rule out the possibility of further additions.

    He added: "If someone goes away then for sure another player has to come. Especially if some players want to go and play regularly and it's difficult to keep them here."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.