Tottenham captaincy will come naturally to Kane – Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino expects “natural leader” Harry Kane to manage the responsibility of the captaincy without a problem.

The striker has been handed the armband in the absence of Hugo Lloris, who is not expected to play again in 2019 due to an arm injury.

It is nothing new to Kane, who has captained England for the last two years and came away with massive credit for the way he handled a difficult night in Bulgaria this week.

Hugo Lloris was injured at Brighton
Hugo Lloris was injured at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Kane won the plaudits for the decisive and dignified way in which he led the Three Lions in the wake of suffering abhorrent racist abuse in Sofia.

Spurs are much more reliant on Kane’s goals than England, though Pochettino does not expect the responsibility of the captaincy to affect the 26-year-old in front of goal.

“He does not need to feel too much pressure. He needs to act natural,” he said. “The most important thing is to not show too much the responsibility on your shoulders, to act natural.

“When you act natural, if you are a natural leader, you don’t feel the responsibility. When you do what you feel, what you feel here in your heart, it’s natural.

“The problem is if you need to act. If you are not a real leader and you need to act, you spend energy thinking, ‘How do I need to face this problem?’

“But if you trust in yourself and you are a natural leader, then, I promise, you don’t feel the responsibility.”

Pochettino knows a lot about leadership, as his own man-management skills have received high praise for the job he has done at Spurs.

His position has come under question this season, though, due to their terrible start, which hit a nadir in the week before the international break with a 7-2 loss to Bayern Munich followed by a 3-0 humiliation at Brighton.

The Argentinian has been able to brush that off and described his mood as “flying”, particularly impressing himself with his performance in a training drill.

Pochettino has impressed himself in training
Pochettino has impressed himself in training (Yui Mok/PA)

The ‘box’ game is a routine game, where two players in the middle have to try and intercept the passes of everyone else.

Pochettino, perhaps unsurprisingly, was the king of the game and avoided the ignominy of a spell in the middle.

“It’s like I feel now. Of course it’s my responsibility but I am flying,” he said.

“If you see me today running on the pitch. Today I played boxes. 10, 12 minutes. How many times did I go inside? Toby (Alderweireld), Jan (Vertonghen), Tanguy (Ndombele), Moussa Sissoko, Davinson Sanchez, (Juan) Foyth, Harry Kane, (Harry) Winks, Serge Aurier and Skippy (Oliver Skipp) were the players. And not one time!”

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