Jose Mourinho has praised his Tottenham side’s togetherness, as the returning Harry Kane inspired Spurs to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
The England captain had been absent from Spurs‘ last two fixtures, both of which ended in defeat for Mourinho’s men, yet made a surprise return sooner than anticipated to hand his side a much-needed boost, as they sought to avoid a fourth successive defeat in the league against the struggling Baggies.
The first-half saw a cagey affair, with the visitors defending resolutely to keep the likes of Kane and Heung-Min Son at bay, while Sam Johnstone made a fine save to deny Serge Aurier late on. In truth, the best chance of the opening period fell to the away side and Mbaye Diagne, but the new man saw his close-range header scrambled off the line by Hugo Lloris.
After a slow first 45 minutes, the hosts sprung into life after the interval, with Harry Kane slotting home after a fine defence-splitting through ball from Pierre-Emile Hojberg, to end the side’s recent dry spell in front of goal. That lead was then deservedly extended just four minutes later, as Son rounded off a blistering counter-attack with a well-taken finish to all but guarantee three points.
Sam Allardyce’s men did have the ball in the back of the net twice late on through Diagne, but on both occasions the former Galatasary forward was correctly adjudged to have been offside, with Spurs hanging on for the win and a clean sheet.
That result moves Mourinho’s men up to seventh in the table and the former Chelsea boss admitted that he was delighted by what he saw from his players, after what’s been a difficult spell.
“I loved the compromise of the players, the effort, the determination, the clear wish to show everyone how together they are and how much they were suffering with the bad results and how much they wanted the victory,” he told BT Sport. “That was the fundamental thing. In the first half, we were dominant and could have killed the game.
Harry Kane 7th successive season scoring 20+ goals for @SpursOfficial ⚽
208th goal in all competitions, joint-second most in @SpursOfficial history
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 7, 2021
“At half-time we had confidence, we were positive, I only spoke to them for one minute. We were going in the right direction.”
The main story of the match will, of course, be the swift return to action of Kane and his almost inevitable goal, a strike which moved him level with Bobby Smith in second on Spurs’ all-time scorers list.
“Harry Kane is a special player in the history of the club. He will beat every possible record. We had very good individual performances today.
“At the end of the season you have the truth, we will be where we belong, where we deserve to be.”
Tottenham are next in action against Everton in the FA Cup on Wednesday, before a huge clash against Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday.