Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Harry Kane as one of the best strikers in the world after the England international led Spurs to a dramatic 3-2 victory over West Ham by scoring two late goals. The boss admitted it was "not ideal" for fit-again Kane to play the full 90 minutes, but hopes he can recover in time for the crucial Champions League trip to Monaco on Tuesday night.
Spurs looked in line to suffer their first defeat of the Premier League after Michail Antonio's first-half header and a Manuel Lanzini penalty put West Ham 2-1 with only minutes to go. However, Kane equalised the game in the 89th minute, before netting the winner from the penalty spot to leave Spurs in the fifth place of the table, only three points behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
"He's one of the best strikers in the world. When you play without your main striker for 10 or 11 games it's tough for any team. He's a player who is very important for us," Pochettino admitted in the press conference after the game.
"I'm very, very happy, but I don't know if I can say with the performance, but the character we showed. It wasn't our best game, but sometimes it's difficult when you have a good team in front of you with a good plan to stop us. In the second half we found better positions and moved the ball better, we found more space, and it was fantastic to see Kane score again and fantastic after the last month, seven games to win again."
Kane was only starting his second game since suffering an ankle injury which kept him on the sidelines for seven weeks. The 23-year-old star already played 73 minutes and scored in the 1-1 draw at Arsenal, but was released from the England squad last weekend before the friendly with Spain amid concerns over his fitness.
Pochettino admitted he would have liked to rest him further ahead of a crucial week which will see Spurs facing Monaco in the Champions League before a Premier League trip to Chelsea. However, the decision to keep the striker the whole game pay off as Kane scored two late goals to maintain Tottenham's unbeaten start to the league season.
"It wasn't ideal to have Harry on the pitch for 96 minutes, that's true, but it's difficult to take him off when you need to win the game. In the end, we pushed him but now he's very happy with energy and that can help him recover."