Football

Kane doubtful for United clash

Morale-sapping cup loss and injury woes hamper Spurs' preparation for tomorrow's Old Trafford date

Tottenham Hotspur's momentum ahead of tomorrow's crucial match against Manchester United took another knock yesterday morning (Singapore time), after they squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to West Ham in the League Cup fourth round.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino already faces the prospect of travelling to Old Trafford tomorrow without the services of star striker Harry Kane, who left the field holding his hamstring in last weekend's 4-1 win over Liverpool.

At Wembley Stadium yesterday morning, it was the team morale that took a huge beating.

Spurs appeared to be cruising to an easy win when they entered the break with a 2-0 lead through Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli, only for West Ham to stun them with a three-goal blitz courtesy of Andre Ayew (twice) and Angelo Ogbonna.

Pochettino, however, insisted that he is not worried about the potential consequences of this defeat.

Having earlier said that the Champions League and the Premier League are his priorities, he yesterday rested several key players, including Kane, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen.

He said: "I am not worried. After a few weeks, when we were in the sky, the performances against Real and Liverpool were fantastic.

"It's just more difficult to play in these types of competitions when you rotate, and to keep momentum.

"I think we spent a lot of energy in the last two games. It is so difficult to keep that type of level... I am very disappointed.

We need to assess the team.We were forced to rotate for different reasons  Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino,when asked for an update on Kane

"Always you feel bad when you lose. It's true, after the first half, it was like the job was done and it was game over but, in football, you can never give the possibility to the opponent to come again."

On whether Kane may miss tomorrow's game at Old Trafford, Pochettino deviated from his earlier insistence that the England striker was just "a little bit tired".

Asked for an update on Kane's condition yesterday, he told beIN Sports: "We'll see. We need to assess the team.

"We were forced to rotate for different reasons."

Spurs trail the second-placed Red Devils on only goal difference in the Premier League. Both teams are five points behind leaders Man City.

For West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, yesterday's result bought him some much-needed breathing space.

IN DANGER

His position had seemed in danger after a 3-0 home defeat last Friday had left his side 16th in the league table.

  • 2

    West Ham have reached the League Cup quarter-finals in consecutive campaogns for the first time since 1980/81.

On his team's performance yesterday, he said: "We reacted in the most brilliant way. To score three goals against them, who do not concede goals, then be brave and compact and good on the ball, we deserved it and it is a big boost for us.

Bilic shrugged off the suggestion that the players had shown they were playing for him.

He said: "I said I am calm and glad when we win in this way. You see the team are very alive and we are very stubborn in a positive way.

"There is no time and place to go large now.

"We have done a lot, but considering the season, we have done nothing." - WIRE SERVICES

LEAGUE CUPtottenham hotspurWest Ham United