LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane notched up yet more personal milestones with the winning goal in a 1-0 Premier League victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday but manager Antonio Conte said the forward remains the ultimate team player.
Kane moved above Sergio Aguero into fourth on the list of all-time Premier League scorers with 185 goals and at the same time set a record in the competition for goals for a single team. He also reached 250 in all competitions for Tottenham.
The home crowd sang their usual refrain of “He’s one of our one” as Kane went through his post-match interview on the sun-kissed turf of Tottenham’s home stadium at the end.
They know that with Kane they have a chance to end their long wait for silverware stretching back to 2008.
Conte knows that too, but said that it is not just Kane’s goals that make him such a pivotal player.
“Harry is a player who makes the difference, for his quality, for his ability. We’re talking about a really world-class striker who can be dangerous in all aspects on the pitch,” the Italian, whose side have seven points from three games despite not really hitting top gear, told reporters.
“For me, the big surprise about Harry is not only on the football aspect but the person. We’re talking about a really good person, a really good man.
“He’s always ready to help the team, to work for the team. Usually when you have this type of player, they can be a bit lazy without the ball. They like to play with the ball but without the ball (they think) ‘I don’t run because I have to be fresh when we have the ball’.
“This was a bit of a surprise with me, working with Harry. I know he reached another big achievement, a personal achievement. But we’re trying to work together, with the team and always with Harry to have not only personal achievements, but to try to have a big achievement together for the team and the club.”
Kane’s 64th-minute header was Tottenham’s 1,000th home goal in the Premier League and earned them the points against a Wolves side who dominated before the break.
The 29-year-old also scored a last-gasp equaliser last week at Chelsea, when Spurs also struggled for long periods.
Conte conceded Tottenham’s first-half display against Wolves was sub-standard but whatever he said at halftime sank in as his side were far better after the interval.
Encouragingly for Tottenham, they have picked up seven points from three fixtures they managed zero from last season — a sign of a new-found resilience ingrained by Conte.
“Last season, probably this type of game you’re going to lose at the end,” he said. “In fact, last season we lost at home against Southampton, at home against Wolverhampton and against Chelsea. Instead to get seven points showed that this team is improving in many aspects.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)