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Pochettino: Kane saved me from sack, now he's Spurs' model player

Mauricio Pochettino believes a certain goal in Harry Kane's first century of strikes for Tottenham was responsible for saving him from the sack.

Frank de Boer was this week fired by Crystal Palace after four games in charge, and recalling just the 10th league game of Pochettino's Spurs reign prompted the revelation.

With Spurs having picked up just 11 points from their first nine games under the former Southampton boss in 2014, Kane – playing second fiddle to Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor at the time, struck a deflected free-kick winner in the 90th minute of a 2-1 triumph at Aston Villa.

Neither player or club have since looked back. Kane has won the Premier League Golden Boot two seasons in a row, while Pochettino has guided Spurs to consecutive top-three finishes.

"Maybe I can find many other goals that were fantastic but for me the goals are related to emotion, in the period you are living," Pochettino said.

"For me that goal was an amazing goal because it meant for us, for everyone, the possibility to stay here today.

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"It's true, the team were 14th or 13th and we were a little bit under pressure because the team were there and play well, but not win games.

"Always in football, when you don't get good results, the first to be sacked is the manager. That is why that goal allowed us to carry on working and try to change the club."

Kane reached 100 Tottenham goals against Everton last weekend, following up that two-goal show with another brace against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday and Pochettino revealed how he now holds the striker as an example for the rest of his players to follow.

"Players must show hunger and never lose their hunger," Pochettino said. "We have a lot of good examples: Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, or players like Harry Kane, who is 23.

"I showed the team the first goal that he scored against Borussia Dortmund, how he fought with two defensive players and then how he scored. It is our responsibility to inspire them not to lose their hunger."

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