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Harry Kane: It Will Be 'Hard Work' for Tottenham to Keep Up with Liverpool, City

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur looks dejected during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 25, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has said it will be "hard work" for his team to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title this term.

Kane was part of the Spurs side that suffered a shock loss at home to Newcastle United on Saturday. The defeat means that they are already five points behind leaders Liverpool after just three games of the 2019-20 season.

Given City have won the previous two Premier League campaigns with 100- and 98-point totals, the margin for error is tiny for those sides who have ambitions of pushing for the top spot. With that in mind, Kane thinks Tottenham will have their work cut out to keep pace with last season's top two, per Dan Sansom of Sky Sports:

"It is still going to take a lot of hard work. As you're seeing from Manchester City and Liverpool there is no letting up from them.

"I said before the start of the season that if we could put a run together, get that momentum, maybe winning for two to three months on the spin without dropping any points, then that's what it's going to take.

"I knew we had to keep up with them, make sure we win, especially at home. It is disappointing that we haven't done that in only our second home game."

For Spurs, it was an afternoon to forget. Joelinton's first-half goal gave Steve Bruce's side the lead, and in response, Tottenham lacked the intensity and creativity required to get back into the game. Mauricio Pochettino's team lost 1-0.

While Tottenham made it to the UEFA Champions League final at the end of the previous campaign, they've struggled for consistency in the Premier League for a while, as The Athletic's Jack Pitt-Brooke relayed:

Jack Pitt-Brooke @JackPittBrooke

Of course a lot of the time they can get away with it. Like against Villa! Or a few times last season. But there's a bigger question here: when did Spurs last play *really well* in the league? Everton away last Christmas?

Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard said he was confused by some of the choices Pochettino made in terms of the team selection:

Simon Johnson @sjstandardsport

A few decisions didn’t go their way, but that was a poor display by #thfc. Very flat for long periods. Noticeably improved once #Eriksen came on - why was he on the bench in the first place? #TOTNEW

Kane also conceded he was left bemused by the decision not to award a penalty when Jamaal Lascelles appeared to have fouled him in the latter stages of the game. Referee Mike Dean didn't point to the spot, and the video assistant referee did not overturn the call.

"It is hard to understand how it hasn't been given," Kane said. "Just like when a keeper comes out, uses his arms and trips you up—it's a penalty."

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News noted that issues with the system have been common early in the campaign:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Lascelles on Kane there is near identifical to Kelly on Martial yesterday. VAR purports to be objective but is still so flawed. Too many decisions that should be overturned haven’t been three matchweeks into the season.

For Tottenham, a huge test comes next, as they travel to the home of bitter rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners will also be looking to bounce back after a disappointing week, as Liverpool beat them 3-1 in their previous league outing.

Kane has an excellent record in the fixture, having netted nine times in total in the north London derby. After some early-season struggles, Tottenham could need a big performance from their star striker to get over the line on Sunday.