London (AFP) – England international striker Harry Kane says teams have worked Tottenham Hotspur out and the Londoners need to adapt if they are to reignite their Premier League title challenge.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have stalled in recent weeks with Sunday’s defeat at Manchester United extending a sticky run that has brought just two wins in eight league games.
Spurs lie 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea ahead of their midweek home meeting with struggling Hull City and in desperate need of a lift with the packed holiday programme looming.
Spurs’ title bid ended with them finishing third last season and Kane told the Evening Standard: “People didn’t expect us to play so well last year and press so high with such intensity.
“Now teams are maybe dropping off a bit more, letting us have the ball, and we have to find different solutions to unlock the door.
“Manchester United made it difficult for us to play out from the back. They made us play more long balls than we are used to playing.
“That was their game plan and it worked.”
The visit of Hull to White Hart Lane is followed by a home meeting with another struggling side Burnley four days later and anything less than six points from the two games will be a major disappointment.
“Last year December and January were the months when we pushed forward, got good results and moved up the table,” said Kane.
“We have to do the same again and we feel we can beat anyone in this league.
“The two home games coming up are definitely winnable and they are very important to ensure we go into the games ahead with confidence.”
Ryan Mason hopes to return to the Hull side to face his former club, with Tom Huddlestone, another member of the Tigers’ strong ex-Tottenham contingent, most likely to make way.
Mason has struggled to establish himself since his £10m move in August which ended a decade-and-a-half-long association with the London club, for whom he made more than 50 Premier League appearances.
The 25-year-old has made 11 starts for Hull, scoring twice, but was rested for the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, a result which leaves Mike Phelan’s side in the relegation zone, a point adrift of safety with only one victory in their last 13 league games.
They go in search of their first away win in the Premier League since they emerged victorious from Swansea almost four months ago.
Phelan backed Mason to play a significant role in the second half of the season.
“Like any player Ryan will take time to find his feet at a new club,” said Phelan.
“He’s come out of that comfort zone he had at Tottenham, where he was surrounded by excellent players, and has come to a club that was always going to be near the bottom of the table looking upwards.”
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