After recent poor form, Tottenham talisman Harry Kane has warned his teammates that there are “no excuses” for them, in their pursuit of Champions League football and a strong finish to this campaign.
They opened their new stadium in style with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, as goals from Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen sealed Spurs’ first league win since their 3-1 win over Leicester on February 10.
Since then, they have won 4-0 (aggregate) against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but suffered four losses and drawn their north London derby fixture against Arsenal too.
Inconsistency has often been their Achilles heel in the business end of seasons and while players, as well as fans, are excited about their new stadium finally being in operation, there’s plenty of work to be done between now and the season’s end next month.
The 62,000-seat arena will host Premier League leaders Manchester City on April 9, in the first of three fixtures against Pep Guardiola’s side in just 11 days. The pair have been drawn to face one another in the Champions League quarter-finals, while they have an important league clash on April 20 at the Ethiad to prepare for, the weekend of their second leg tie.
Tottenham’s win sees them in third place, just a point above London rivals Arsenal (game in hand) and Chelsea, as well as two more over Manchester United in sixth. Kane described the team as confident of their top-four chances, even despite their poor recent form. As quoted by the Guardian, he said:
“We feel like we have done well this season obviously with everything that has been going on. There are no excuses now – we are here, we are home and if we play like that [against Palace], we will be alright.”
They have four home league games between now and the season’s end on May 12 – against an already relegated Huddersfield side as well as Brighton, West Ham and Everton. These are winnable fixtures and given their immediate need for points, they cannot afford any more slip-ups in the top-four race as rivals look keen to take advantage where possible.
“Being on the pitch just felt like home. In the final year at the old White Hart Lane we finished unbeaten and I hope this will be the same. City is going to be something special as well, we have got to try to use the occasion and atmosphere to our advantage but it will be difficult.”
This weekend marks the return of the FA Cup, as this weekend is dominated by semi-final fixtures at Wembley. It also means Spurs’ next match is the Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Manchester City in midweek.