London (AFP) – Danny Rose insists the feelgood factor sparked by Tottenham’s new stadium can maintain their momentum against Huddersfield on Saturday despite damaging injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Kane sustained a “significant lateral ligament injury to his left ankle” while making a rash challenge on Manchester City’s Fabian Delph during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino fears the England striker could be sidelined for the rest of the season, with further assessment of Kane’s ankle by the club’s medical staff set for later this week.
Adding insult to injury, England midfielder Alli fractured his left hand in the City tie and may not be fit to face relegated Huddersfield in a crucial Premier League clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.
Fourth-placed Tottenham are only one point ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal as the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League heats up.
Withstanding the loss of top-scorer Kane for potentially the rest of the campaign, with Alli also operating at less than 100 percent, will be a stern test of Tottenham’s mental strength.
But Pochettino’s men have the incentive to keep their foot on the gas after shaking off an alarming slump by winning their first two matches at their posh new £1 billion arena.
Tottenham defender Rose says the buzz from the 62,062-capacity crowds in victories over Crystal Palace in the Premier League and City in Europe have revitalised the squad at just the right moment.
“Last week when we played Palace, the atmosphere was brilliant,” Rose said.
“And when Hugo saved the penalty (against Manchester City), my ears were buzzing because of the fans and how loud it was.
“The plan is to get the stadium back to being a fortress. If you remember the last season at the old White Hart Lane, we were unbeaten. That’s the plan now.
“To make it a fortress again, and make sure teams know that when they come here they’re going to be in for a game.
“Thank you to the fans for making the first two games at the new stadium very memorable.”
– Son takes centre stage –
For Tottenham to recreate their White Hart Lane fortress, they need Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen to shine in the absence of Kane and Alli.
Kane, who has scored 24 times this season, is getting used to beginning the rehabilitation process as this is his fifth ankle injury in two-and-a-half years and comes just six weeks after his return from his previous one.
In each of the last three incidents Kane recovered ahead of schedule and earlier this year — aided by a spell in the Bahamas — he returned two weeks before expected.
That will give Tottenham hope, but Pochettino will have to prepare to be without the World Cup Golden Boot winner for the run-in, which includes next week’s Champions League second leg in Manchester.
South Korea forward Son did not take long to prove Tottenham aren’t a one-man team as he hit the winner against City after Kane went off.
Son also took centre stage during Kane’s last absence, scoring four goals in four games.
Tottenham fared well in Kane’s seven-game injury lay-off and Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who made several appearances in that sequence, is in contention to feature against bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield.
Terriers boss Jan Siewert optimistically claims Tottenham could be inhibited by their injury problems.
“With him they play in different shapes and when he didn’t play they had other shapes. In a way it makes it more difficult,” Siewert said.
“But for me it’s about how we play, how we solve the challenges they give us.”
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