Harry Kane’s desire to catch Mohamed Salah in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot is not the reason for a seemingly quickfire return from injury, boss Mauricio Pochettino has said.
The England striker suffered lateral ligament damage in his right ankle at the beginning of March, but Pochettino has refused to rule him out of Sunday’s blockbusting clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
That would represent a rapid recovery, even for someone who has a history of shaking off injuries quickly, when a return in mid-April was expected.
In Kane’s short absence Liverpool’s Salah has raced ahead in the top scorers’ list, taking his tally to 29 – five ahead of the Spurs man.
But Pochettino insists Kane’s primary goal is not personal glory and the prospect of retaining the golden boot prize.
He said: “Harry is so special. He wants to help the team. Of course he wants to score goals, but he wants to score goals to help the team.
“It’s not in his mind that the priority is to catch Salah or another player. That’s what makes him special.
“He wants to score goals and the consequence can be that he wins trophies, but the most important thing is he wants to help the team.
“It’s not about his body, it’s about his brain. The most important muscle that he has is his brain. He’s so determined, so positive.”
Pochettino could do with Kane as he tries to end his side’s Stamford Bridge hoodoo.
Spurs have not emerged from Chelsea with three points since February 1990, the longest winless run in the Premier League.
If they can end that barren spell on Sunday, it will go a long way to securing their top-four berth this season and a return to the Champions League.
That afternoon 28 years ago, when most of the current Spurs squad were not born, and all of the hardship at Stamford Bridge since is not featuring in Pochettino’s focus.
“Only when the moment arrives the media reminds me about that, but it’s not in our minds,” he added.
“It’s a game that we are going to try to win, thinking we can do well and perform in the way that we want, but not thinking about the record. It’s not going to help us.
“I think it is not a point to be focused on for us. We are focused, and we must be focused on the win and the performance.
“Performances, to have the possibility to be better than them, and to win the game. History is history and is there, but it is not going to help. That is not what counts.”