Football

Always easier when Harry Kane is not playing: Thomas Tuchel

Spurs striker is an injury doubt for clash with Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur are not as big of a threat when striker Harry Kane is absent, but Chelsea will plan for all contingencies in case the Englishman does play in Friday morning’s (Feb 5, Singapore time) London Derby, said Blues manager Thomas Tuchel.

Kane, who has 12 goals and 11 assists in the English Premier League this season, is sidelined after picking up two separate ankle injuries in a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool last week.

“It’s always easier when Harry Kane is not playing,” said Tuchel.

“He’s one of the best No. 9s in the world and when he’s in shape, he is maybe the role model No. 9 that every coach wishes for – in terms of work rate and ability.

“His goalscoring is outstanding. We assume he will not play but we’ll prepare for all cases.”

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said the earliest Kane could return to action was next week.

While Kane is in contention for the Golden Boot, three goals behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Chelsea forward Timo Werner has not scored in the league since last November.

Tuchel said he hopes his fellow German can rediscover his scoring touch, having found the net at Spurs in the League Cup as well as during his time with German side RB Leipzig.

“It’s our responsibility to create moments where he can bring out his best, which means attacking the space in behind to use his speed,” Tuchel added.

“We create situations with the whole team to use his strengths. You can talk in training but nothing matters if they don’t score in the game. He has good memories at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium... He is not looking for excuses.”

Tuchel said he would take late calls on defender Kurt Zouma and midfielder Kai Havertz who were injured in training, but the rest of the squad is available. – REUTERS

Harry KaneThomas Tucheltottenham hotspurchelsea