Harry Kane's lingering ankle issue won't hinder his World Cup - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has admitted Harry Kane is still feeling the effects of last month's ankle injury but said the England striker would be fully fit for the World Cup.
Kane missed one Spurs game and two England friendlies after suffering ankle ligament damage against Bournemouth on April 11 but he scored for the third time in five matches since returning in the 2-0 win over Watford on Monday.
Despite the goals, which have moved him onto 105 in the Premier League, Kane has not looked his usual self and he missed a couple of simple chances against the struggling Hornets.
Asked if Kane was still suffering a hangover from the ankle injury, Pochettino said: "Yes, of course.
"It is a mix about different things. I think it wasn't a great period for him the last few weeks. He is human and, like everyone, was a little bit affected but with the help of everyone is doing well.
"He needs to improve still but he is happy -- 150 games in the Premier League, 105 goals. What we can say more about him? Fantastic striker. I am happy for him that he scored today and happy for the team.
"Of course he will be fit for the World Cup. He is a strong guy -- physically and mentally. I am sure that, first of all, he is going to perform for us in a very good way and then no doubt he'll arrive in a very good condition to the World Cup."
Pochettino also heralded captain Hugo Lloris, who made a string of fine saves to keep Watford at bay in the first half at Wembley Stadium and raced out to tackle Abdoulaye Doucoure a full 30 yards from goal.
The goalkeeper has come under intense pressure after mistakes leading to goals in three straight matches against Chelsea, Stoke and Man City, and he was not selected for the FA Cup semifinal defeat to Manchester United.
"Hugo Lloris in the goal that showed fantastic skill and why he is one of the best keepers in the world," the Spurs manager said.
"Of course the most important thing is to win, three points for us which puts us in a very important position in the table. Now it's to keep going and try to win. In the end, it's about performance of course, but it's about being sure to win games and sure of the top four.
"A clean sheet for a keeper is so, so important. A big satisfaction for him, I'm happy for him and of course for the team. It wasn't a great performance, I repeat, we cannot be too happy with the performance, but we can be happy about the three points that we are keeping fighting for the top four and a place in the Champions League.
"That [Raheem] Sterling tackle [in the Man City game], wasn't a penalty. I talk a lot, very well of him, the keeper with us their job is to be focussed with us for 90 minutes, but to also help the team because our defensive line is higher. We demand a lot from the keeper and we are so happy with all, I think we have great keepers. Hugo is one of the best."
The win over the Hornets moved Spurs five points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea with three games to go and they can extend their advantage to eight points with another win over bottom-club West Brom on Saturday.
"We have three games ahead and I think it will be a very successful season if we finish in the top four," Pochettino added. "West Brom are playing to try and survive. Of course, they are in a difficult situation but look in the last few games, they fight a lot they are now difficult to beat.
"We need to prepare for the game that will be so physical and mental, hard to play and he will want to win there. We need to be ready to fight because they will be strong."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.