London (AFP) – Harry Kane believes Tottenham Hotspur will have to win eight of their remaining nine Premier League games if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The north London club were seven points adrift of the top four when the coronavirus shut down the season in March.
Then it was thought the likes of Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn would miss the rest of the campaign through injury.
But the trio, as well as Moussa Sissoko, are all set to be fit in time for the planned restart of June 17, although young striker Troy Parrott will be sidelined after having his appendix removed.
Eighth-placed Spurs face crunch matches against Manchester United, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Leicester.
Their hopes of Champions League qualification would also be boosted if Manchester City fail in an appeal against a European ban.
But Kane wants Spurs to take matters into their own hands.
“We have got to finish in the top four, there is no doubt about that,” he told the club’s website.
“We have got a massive game against Man United in the first game and realistically we are going to have to win seven or eight to get into the Champions League.
“That has got to be our aim. Of course we want to win every game but we have got to make sure we finish strong if we want to be playing Champions League football next season.”
Kane suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton on New Year’s Day but with the season suspended, the England captain has been able to recover without the worry of missing matches.
“From the hamstring point of view it is great to be able to give it a bit more rest,” the star forward said. “I have not played a game for six months now, it has been a long, long time.”
– ‘Shock to the system’ –
Spurs only sit four points behind Man United in fifth, which could be good enough for a Champions League spot depending on the result of Man City’s appeal.
Kane, a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, has scored 17 goals for Tottenham in all competitions this season, including 11 from 20 appearances in the league.
“I am feeling good, I am feeling sharp,” he added. “It has been good to do some individual training, a bit of finishing, a lot of individual drills to work on my game and improve.
“I am at a stage where I am looking forward to getting some games and hopefully I’ll be back playing before too long.
“It is a good shock to the system. It has been very intense…
“Hopefully I’ll be back in a better place (than) before I was injured and look forward to a busy next year.”