Hero Kane! Mourinho lauds comeback king Harry

Omnisport

Jose Mourinho has a new nickname for Harry Kane after the Spurs striker completed 90 minutes in his first outing for five months against Manchester United.

"Hero Kane" was unable to find the net during Friday's 1-1 draw but Mourinho has no doubt the England captain's goalscoring form will come.

Kane ruptured hamstring tendons during Spurs' 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year's Day, undergoing surgery that might have threatened an early end to his season without the coronavirus shutdown.

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Ankle problems have also been an unwelcomely familiar hindrance over recent years for the 26-year-old, but Mourinho marvelled at how he has thrown himself into hard work on the training field since Tottenham regrouped for the season restart.

"I know that if tomorrow he scores two goals, the talk stops, but let's suppose that he doesn't score a goal. I think it's just normal process," said Mourinho, whose team host West Ham on Tuesday.

"How long it will take? I don't know. All I know is Harry Kane had an incredible effort. He played 90 minutes, he was training again today and yesterday, he's ready to play tomorrow.

"He's an incredible professional, he's super committed with the team. If I have to wait patiently for him to score two goals or three goals in one game and then everybody starts saying that Harry Kane is back, I wait.

"But for me, it is not Harry Kane, it is 'Hero' Kane because a guy that had a big surgery has a lockdown that stopped the perfect rehabilitation.

"With all the difficulties, then coming to normal training only for a couple of weeks. For me, 'Hero' Kane. If he gives me the same [against West Ham] that he did against United I will be more than happy."

Kane has scored seven times in 11 outings under his current manager, part of an overall season haul of 27 in 32 appearances for club and country.

Mourinho made a impassioned defence of his track record with star forwards such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, following claims by former England international Paul Merson that Kane would struggle to remain prolific under his management.

Of Kane's 36 touches against United, none came in the opposition penalty area and Merson suggested the player might consider his future at the end of the season, with Spurs missing out on European football a possibility.

Nevertheless, Mourinho is confident his premier attacker will remain and insisted the player's ambitions are aligned with those of himself, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis – Tottenham's chairman and owner respectively.

"The club doesn't need to do anything," he said. "The club just need to say, 'Harry Kane is ours, Harry Kane has a long-term contract, Harry Kane is not for sale, Harry Kane is Tottenham, Harry Kane is staying.'

"We want the same. He doesn't want anything different to what Mr Levy wants, Mr Lewis wants and what I want. He doesn't want anything different than us."

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League table, nine points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea with eight matches remaining.

Even allowing for the prospect of Manchester City's Champions League ban being upheld and fifth place granting entry to Europe's top competition, Mourinho is prepared for the reality and consequences of Tottenham falling short.

He added: "If we get a Champions League position, we are helping the club; if we get a Europa League position, we are helping less but we are still helping the club.

"If we don't get a Europa League position, we are not helping the club in relation to that extra money."

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