Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended his decision to withdraw star striker Harry Kane from the game against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and insisted the England international was tired.
Eyebrows were raised among the home faithful at White Hart Lane when Kane was substituted in the 64th minute, despite the team leading 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli.
The change would prove to be disastrous for Spurs as they threw away their two-goal lead within five second half minutes as a Marko Arnautovic penalty and a header from Mame Biram Diouf snatched a point for the Potters and left home supporters questioning why their only striker was taken off so early in the game.
However, Pochettino confirmed in his post-match press conference that the 21-year-old was suffering from fatigue and did not want to take any chances with the player’s fitness:
“He was tired. He came later into pre-season but this is normal. He needs time. Last season we spoke a lot about Harry Kane and the consequence you can see now,” the Spurs boss said [via Standard Sport].
“Today my feeling was that he was tired and after 2-0 at 70 minutes I thought that was enough for him. Don’t take risks with his body,” Pochettino added.
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In a bid to provide much needed cover for Kane in attack, Spurs announced the signing of exciting young striker Clinton N’Jie from Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais ahead of the fixture with Stoke.