Harry Kane
Kane has netted 22 goals this season but was left out from the start. Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says the club's upcoming fixture schedule forced Harry Kane to start the Europa League last 32 first leg against Fiorentina from the bench.

Jose Maria Basanta cancelled out Roberto Soldado's early goal as the Serie A club took a slender advantage into the second leg in seven days time, but Spurs spurned several opportunities to take a first leg lead to Florence.

The match started a run of sixgames in 17 days which includes Saturday's Premier League visit of West Ham United and Pochettino says Kane, who came on after 65 minutes at White Hart Lane, was rested for future games amid the Tottenham's fixture pile-up.

"I had to decide and to maybe I need to explain one time more than we have a lot of games and we need to play six games in 30 days," the Tottenham boss explained. "It is difficult and I need to rotate and we have to give the possibility to win the games."

On the draw which leaves Tottenham's Europa League existance hanging by the balance as they are left with potentially requiring their second ever win in Italy to progress, Pochettino added: "I think that we were better, more chances we managed the game but it is true that in the second half maybe at the end we didn't create many chances but in general I think we were better.

"At half time the team deserved more than one goal and in the end it was 1-1 but the effort and performance was good. We have 90 minutes to try and win the game [in Fiorentina].

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella added: "All things considered it was a fair result. In the first 30 minutes of the first half we suffered a little bit with the physical game but we knew that might happen.

"In the second half we turned things around and we could even have scored a second goal. Ultimately it was a fair result. The second game is going to be a very open game.

"We adapted well to how the game changed and in Italy is it a very tactical game."