April 30, 2018 / 10:48 PM / 25 days ago

Soccer - Kane strikes again to cheer Spurs and England

LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has had a difficult few weeks on and off the pitch but his knack of scoring goals never lets him down as shown by his second-half strike in a 2-0 Premier League win against Watford on Monday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - April 30, 2018 Tottenham's Harry Kane scores a goal which is later disallowed Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“I feel good. I’d like to have played better in the last few games, same of the team, but I feel good, feel sharp and could have scored more. Hopefully I can finish strong like I did last season going into a big summer,” the England forward said ahead of the World Cup.

The win at Wembley put fourth-placed Spurs five points clear of Chelsea in the race for Champions League places and although Kane was again not at his best, the striker was in the right place at the right time to wrap up three vital points for Spurs.

Kane has looked below par since returning from an ankle injury suffered at Bournemouth in early March, having missed England’s last two friendlies. He was initially ruled out for over a month but returned on April 1 off the bench at Chelsea.

His subdued performances since then have raised the question of whether he returned to action too soon and maybe would have benefited from a longer break ahead of the World Cup but Spurs did not have the luxury of resting their main striker.

Kane has also faced criticism from opposition players and fans alike for claiming a goal that brushed against his arm at Stoke City and was originally given to Christian Eriksen.

But the forward, who now has 27 league goals and 38 for the season, can cope with criticism as he tries to catch Liverpool’s Mo Salah (31) for the Golden Boot as Premier League top scorer.

“I try to improve every year. Last year I got 29 goals so I’d like to beat that but we’ll see what happens. In my mind I’m trying to get to that 30 mark,” said Kane.

The striker, making his 150th Premier League appearance against Watford, has scored 105 goals in the competition and only Alan Shearer (121) got more in his first 150 matches.

“He scored, he needs to improve his performance still, but he’s happy,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. “What more can you say about him. he’s a fantastic striker and I’m happy he scored again.”

Asked why Kane’s form had been indifferent since his injury, Pochettino added: “It’s a mix of different things. It wasn’t a great period for him the last few weeks and, of course, he’s only human and was a little bit affected.

“But he’s a strong guy mentally and physically and I’m sure that first of all he’s going to perform well for us and then he’ll arrive in a very good condition to play in the World Cup.”

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - April 30, 2018 Tottenham's Harry Kane scores a goal which is later disallowed REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Reporting by Ken Ferris; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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