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Nuno not fussed about past as Spurs seek solution to Harry Kane’s poor form

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo wants to focus on the present amid suggestions Harry Kane is suffering a hangover from his summer transfer saga.

The England captain had designs on joining Manchester City this summer and even went as far as turning up late for pre-season training to try and force a move through.

City never came up with a bid that even made Spurs think twice about selling their star man, but his return to the side has been a difficult one and his form has come under scrutiny.

He has yet to score in four Premier League games, has had fewer touches in the opposition box than Liverpool defender Joel Matip and recently went through his first ever 90 minutes without having a shot in the 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace.

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Asked whether the 28-year-old was affected by what went on in the summer, Nuno said: “That’s the past. Nothing that we can say or do now or in the future will change the past.

“What we have to do with the past is put it behind our heads and focus in the present. 

“The way we are working is to find solutions, try to reinvent, recreate situations which can improve our football and our game and Harry is part of the team. It’s the partnerships, the complicity, the way we do things, everyone has to be involved.”

Spurs won their opening three Premier League games, but back-to-back 3-0 defeats have turned the mood sour.

Even in those three 1-0 wins, they only scored once from open play and have the lowest XG – expected goals – ratio in the division.

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There have been some mitigating circumstances, with the Kane issue, injuries and absences of other key men and Nuno is confident things will improve, starting with the Carabao Cup game against Wolves on Wednesday.

“Our fans deserve much, much better than what we did on Sunday (against Chelsea),” he said. “I was really pleased and I think our fans were as well with the first half, there were a lot of positives but the second half was not good.

“So we lost that chance to recover the good feeling among us, but what I can tell and my message is clear: we are working hard, we are working very hard and the players are committed to it.

“We are positive. It’s about trying to build during the competition, we don’t have too much time on the training ground. It’s during the matches.

“The players are committed. Things are going to gel and we are going to play better and things are going to improve because this is what we realise.

Tottenham were beaten 3-0 by Chelsea on Sunday

Tottenham were beaten 3-0 by Chelsea on Sunday (Tim Goode/PA)

“Our reaction to our problems is hard work, it’s helping each other. It’s how I work, with everybody involved. This is the right path for us.”

Winger Steven Bergwijn looks set to miss Sunday’s north London derby with a sprained ankle.

The Holland international suffered the injury in the Europa Conference League clash with Rennes last week and will not be involved at Molineux.

He was pictured wearing a protective boot on his foot and looks unlikely to make it for Sunday’s trip to Arsenal.

Nuno said: “He has an injury on his foot, a sprain, he twisted his ankle. It’s very, very painful and the decision was to protect his foot and at the same time keep doing upper body workouts and try to maintain as fit as possible.

“But the injury needs to settle down and prevent him from feeling pain. It’s very painful now.”

Lucas Moura will also miss out with a knock, but Japhet Tanganga is back from suspension.