Pochettino hails hero Kane potential following derby double

Pochettino hails hero Kane potential following derby double

Published Feb. 7, 2015 1:02 p.m. ET

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes there is more to come from the "massive potential" of forward Harry Kane after his second-half double helped beat Arsenal 2-1 to win the north London derby at White Hart Lane.

The Gunners went ahead through a fine volley from Mesut Ozil on 11 minutes.

However, Spurs regrouped and just as they had done against Chelsea earlier in the season produced a thrilling recovery.

Kane equalised at the start of the second half when he netted at the back post from a corner, before heading in a winner with five minutes left to the adulation of the White Hart Lane faithful.


The double salvo took the tally for the boyhood Spurs fan to 22 in all competitions in an impressive breakthrough season.

Pochettino, though, is expecting even more.

"Harry showed today that he is a great player, with a great performance, but my idea is that he can improve still and we need to push him to develop his potential because his potential is massive, but it was a fantastic performance today," the Argentine coach said.

England manager Roy Hodgson was at the game, although it is unclear if he was still there to see Kane's late winner.

The calls for a senior call-up for the England Under-21 forward continue to grow.

Pochettino said: "It is his (Hodgson's) decision and I have full respect for him. It is true that Harry is in a fantastic moment, and we have to congratulate him. If the England manager thinks he should play on the national team, then I am happy."

Pochettino praised the attitude and work-rate of his players, who out-muscled Arsenal in midfield.

"The players have worked a lot on the training ground and they really deserve this," the Spurs boss said. "We worked so hard as a team and the atmosphere with our supporters was brilliant.

"This is special because it was a derby and all that it means, to get three points against Arsenal for our supporters and our players too. We played with our brain, showed passion and emotion, this is what is important to me to recognise this energy."

The victory saw Spurs leapfrog the Gunners in the Premier League table, but Pochettino is not getting carried away, with a midweek trip to Liverpool next on the agenda.

"This is just at the moment, I never look at the table because sometimes you can be confused afterwards (later)," he said.

"Our objective is to finish the season as high up as possible, but we need to go step by step, to keep working hard and to fight, this is our challenge."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a bad day at the office as his side failed to produce another battling away display like when winning at Manchester City last month.

"We scored early, but I think going forward, we didn't produce enough," he said. "When we went forward, we always looked dangerous to score but were we too focused to defend our goal? I think so.

"I believe that we made too many technical mistakes compared to our level, because ofTottenham in the middle of the park. They put us under pressure and we lost some balls we are not used to losing.

"They were cheap goals (to concede). Tottenham didn't create so much, but I think we didn't produce enough.

"Overall, we defended with solidarity but the biggest regret is that we didn't have a good day. We can do much better - that is for sure and that is the positives of the day."

Wenger added: "It (the top-four challenge) will be a battle until the end. It has been every year with Spurs. We just have to focus on us, because there are many teams fighting to get in there [the top four]."

Wenger was also left less than impressed by the performance of referee Martin Atkinson, feeling several fouls went unpunished.

"I felt he was a little bit like us - not at his best," the Arsenal manager added.

Wenger believes Kane deserves a chance with the England team.

"He was good as always. He grows and he has a good determination. He doesn't stop, he keeps going," he said.

"When you have scored the number of goals he has scored, if you don't put him in there (England), somebody will give him a passport to another country."