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Transfer Rater: Van Dijk to Chelsea


Tottenham striker Harry Kane - defenders making it tougher now

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has said he has needed to find new ways to cope with extra attention from defenders this season.

Kane took his tally to 19 Premier League goals as he scored twice in the 2-0 win at Villa Park on Sunday to move level with Leicester's Jamie Vardy at the top of the division's scoring charts.

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The 22-year-old started last season as a relative unknown but struck 31 goals in all competitions, including 21 in the league, and was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

After a slow start to this season, he is on course to better last term's tally in Spurs' final eight matches.

"Obviously there was a lot of talk at the start of the season and, as I've always said before, the top players in the world find a way to get around it and score 20, 30 goals season in, season out," Kane told reporters at Villa Park.

"That's what I want to be. I want to be one of the top strikers and I know I have to find ways to score goals because there is probably more attention than there was last year.

"I'm very happy to be where I am now. There are still quite a few games to go, so hopefully I can keep scoring and see how many goals I can get between now and the end of the season."

He said defenders "get tighter to you" and "you've got two or three people trying to block the shot because people know that I like to shoot."

And he added: "Obviously they're trying to mark everyone -- not just me -- but I do see little differences from last season.

"That's what it's like. If you want to be a player scoring goals every year in the Premier League, you've got to be able to cope with that."

Spurs have the youngest squad in the Premier League and head coach Mauricio Pochettino has described vice-captain Kane as "a leader."

But the England international said the North London side had shown collective maturity to dispatch a Villa side rooted to the foot of the table.

"Everyone's a leader in this team," he added. "We're working together, working hard and we all get on very well.

"We all controlled the game very well. Other than the last few minutes when they hit the bar and the post, we kept them to very little.

"It was a very mature, collective win. We looked solid and we created a lot of chances."

Tottenham's attentions now turn to Thursday's Europa League round-of-16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund at White Hart Lane, with the Londoners trailing 3-0 from last week's first leg in Germany.

Kane, who was rested in Dortmund and he is unlikely to start the rematch with another crucial Premier League fixture to come against Bournemouth on Sunday and Spurs just two points behind leaders Leicester, who face Newcastle on Monday.

Asked whether Spurs could win the tie, Kane replied: "Of course -- you've always got to think that. We've got nothing to lose now. Obviously it's a big mountain to climb, but there's no reason we can't do it."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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