Kane scored on his final appearance before the World Cup in a 4-3 win over Leeds; Antonio Conte: “He’s arriving at the World Cup in the best physical and mental condition.”
Harry Kane is the best physical and mental condition, says Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte thinks Harry Kane is heading to the World Cup in the “best physical and mental condition” despite his domestic workload with Tottenham.
Kane played the full 90 minutes and scored on his final Spurs appearance before the break for the Qatar tournament in a 4-3 win over Leeds.
The England skipper is heading to the tournament having played the most minutes (1,137) of any Premier League player across all competitions since October.
Kane’s heavy workload
Despite the fears of fatigue ahead of England’s opening match with Iran on November 21, Conte feels Kane is jetting off to Qatar in prime mental and physical condition.
“He’s arriving at the World Cup in the best physical and mental condition. I think he feels a lot of responsibility as he is the captain of England. I consider England one of the best teams in the world and one of the candidates to have an important tournament. I wish the best for Harry and England. As Italy aren’t playing, I can be a supporter of England.”
Spurs go into the World Cup break sitting in fourth place in the Premier League and also having booked their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League. This latest win over Leeds came in dramatic circumstances with Rodrigo Bentancur striking twice in the last 10 minutes to put the club on a positive footing ahead of the restart on Boxing Day.
Kane has started all 15 Premier League games this season, scoring 12 goals and Conte praised the way the striker has dealt with “a lot of weight on his shoulders” in the last six weeks.
“Especially in the last 13 games Harry played an important role,” he added.
“We finished this period in the top four and in the last 16 of Champions League and we have to thank Harry for that. We’ve had many injuries to Kulusevski, Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Son was struggling a bit at the start of the season.
“Harry deserves great praise as in this period a lot of weight was on his shoulders and he’s played fantastic. Now he’s arriving at the World Cup in a really good physical condition and mentally he is stronger than before. I see a player that is ready. I see desire in his eyes to be a protagonist in the best competition in the world.”
Conte: We never give up
Following their latest comeback win over Leeds, Tottenham have rescued 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
“Maybe in a lot of games we were losing and then we came back,” Conte added.
“For this reason, I think the positive things are that we showed great character, great desire and great will not to give up and to believe, to believe in the win. I try every day to transfer this concept that we have to start the game and then until the end we need to fight and see what happened. Never give up, this is our mantra. This is the positive side.
“Negative side, to concede three goals is never good. A team that wants to be competitive, to concede three goals is never positive. For this reason, if you want to reach a good result you need to find stability.”