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Kane stresses importance of good start as Spurs look to mount title challenge

Harry Kane knows how important it is for Tottenham to keep the early pace with Manchester City and Liverpool if they are to be Premier League title contenders.

Both City and the Reds posted statement victories in their opening games of the season as the champions hammered West Ham 5-0 and Liverpool romped past Norwich 4-1.

Spurs needed a late Kane brace to ensure they got off to a winning start, beating Aston Villa 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the England captain says the two title favourites cannot be allowed to pull away.

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There is an early chance for Mauricio Pochettino’s side to climb above City next week when the two meet in an early-season blockbuster.

“We kept up with them for a while last year but they blew ahead after January,” Kane said. “We have to make sure we get off to a good start.

“Liverpool set the standard on Friday night and City before us, so it’s important that we stay in touch as long as we can.

“We have full belief that we can go all the way but there’s a long road ahead and we’ve got to be fully focused.”

Harry Kane

Harry Kane scored two late goals as Tottenham battled back to beat Aston Villa (John Walton/PA)

If Tottenham are going to challenge for the Premier League title then Kane’s goals are going to be very important.

The 26-year-old was delighted to break his duck at Spurs’ new stadium, netting for the first time at four attempts back in N17.

Kane admits he enjoyed a summer of bliss, where he got married and was in the Bahamas for a month, thinking about scoring there, so was a relief to do it so soon this season.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” he said. “I missed a few games towards the back end of last year and had the summer to think about what that would be like, so it was nice to do it and help the team to get a victory.

“I had four weeks off, the most I’ve had off in a few years now. I’ve had a good pre-season, been here from the start, worked with the team and everyone’s feeling good.

“We’ve still got work to do, I’ve still got work to do in terms of fitness and things like that, but playing games will only help.

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“I feel in a good place and hopefully I can continue doing what we’ve done.”

It was the introduction off the bench of Christian Eriksen that changed the game against Villa, who led through John McGinn’s goal before Tanguy Ndombele equalised for Spurs.

The Dane’s future is up in the air as he will not sign a new contract and could leave the club before the end of the European transfer window on September 2.

But Kane hopes he sticks around as long as possible.

Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane

Harry Kane hopes to be a team-mate of Christian Eriksen for some time to come (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Obviously I’ve been playing with Chris now for five or six years and we all know the qualities he has: the assists, the passes, the goals,” he said.

“Whether he starts or is on the bench, the most important thing from all of our points of view is that he gives everything for the team.

“Obviously there’s been speculation about his future but as long as he’s training hard and playing as hard as he can when he’s here, that’s all we can ask for. What will be will be but we’re happy to have him.

“That’s out of my hands. From our point of view as players, we do it on the pitch. We commit to the club and do as much as we can and whatever happens outside of our control, happens.”

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