Kane still optimistic about Spurs making the last 16
England striker's late double keeps Spurs' Champions League dreams alive
Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Kane remain optimistic that Tottenham Hotspur can reach the Champions League last 16 after the latter's late brace earned them a vital 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven at Wembley yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Playing their fourth match in eight days, Spurs dug deep after Luuk de Jong put the Dutch champions in front after 61 seconds - the quickest goal Tottenham have conceded in the competition.
Pochettino's side had 29 attempts on goal and 70 per cent of possession, but were frustrated until Kane's double in the 78th and 89th minutes kept open a route to the Champions League last 16, however precarious it may be.
Despite their first win in Group B, Tottenham are still more likely to be playing Europa League rather than the Champions League football after Christmas - the consequence of late goals conceded in a 2-1 loss at Inter Milan and a 2-2 draw at PSV.
They have four points and will need to beat Inter Milan and then almost certainly Barcelona to get out of the group, but Pochettino believes his side can manage it.
"We deserved more in Milan (against Inter), we played better than them," Reuters quoted him as saying.
"I am optimistic. If we beat them, the percentage of being in the next stage will be higher.
"Two games to play. If we are capable of beating Inter, we'll be on seven points (each). Then we are going to go to Barcelona and try to win the game."
Kane agreed, with AFP quoting him as saying: "We were just on the attack all the time (against PSV)...
"We had to dig deep and find another level when it mattered. The whole season we've been grinding out results.
"Obviously we'd like to be higher up the table in the league and doing better in the Champions League, but we're still fighting."
For former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, the reason they are "still fighting" is Kane. He told BT Sport: "Time and time again, he pulls them out of trouble.
"He's an incredible finisher, what a player, what a captain."
After losing to Manchester City in the English Premier League last week, Spurs have responded with three straight wins in all competitions after Pochettino shuffled his pack.
It is a sign of the squad's resilience, according to the Argentinian, who brought on Erik Lamela, Kieran Trippier and Fernando Llorente late on against PSV. Said Pochettino: "The team are growing up. We have the character of never giving up, which is so important."
Former Arsenal favourite David Seaman believes Spurs are not far from growing into title contenders.
He told talkSPORT: "No, they're not miles away at all. They're getting closer every season, for me.
"A lot of people are going on about how they're not playing very well, but this is their best start to a Premier League season and they've still got a chance in the Champions League, although a very small chance.
"They are always progressing and they keep their players and get their best players to sign new, long- term contracts."