Steven Bergwijn

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Harry Kane close to full return from injury

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Harry Kane is close to a full return from injury and Tottenham Hotspur will definitely have their star striker back fit and ready whenever the season resumes.

Kane, 26, has been out injured since Jan. 1 when he badly injured his hamstring at Southampton and he has since had surgery to repair the injury.

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Given the Premier League has been suspended until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tottenham duo Kane and Heung-min are working hard to return for the remaining nine games of the season.

Speaking to Tottenham’s website, Kane revealed he is closing in on a return and is a couple of weeks away from full fitness.

“I’m not too far away, I’d normally hope to be back with the team in two or three weeks’ time,” Kane said. “I’m at a good stage, pretty much doing everything, now it’s about building up my fitness. So from my personal point of view, I’m in a good place. It’s such a strange situation, no-one has been in this situation before. Like anything, you have to take the positives out of it and do what you can. So far, me and the family are well, and I’ll continue to work hard, work in the gym, work from home and do what I can. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Kane’s challenge now is to keep stepping up his recovery which is tough with training canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the UK on lockdown for at least the next three weeks, the Tottenham and England star will remain focused on doing the right things to be as fit as possible when training, and the season, resumes.

“I’m good. From a rehab point of view and personal point of view, I’m doing really well. I’m at a good stage now and just working hard, doing a lot of recovery, a lot of rehab and just waiting to see what happens to the season,” Kane said. “Other than that, my family is well, and obviously everyone is thinking about coronavirus at the moment and it’s a time to be together, to stay safe and hopefully everything will be alright.”

When the season does eventually resume, having Kane back fit will obviously be a huge boost for Jose Mourinho and Tottenham. He gives their attack a focal point and even though Son stood in for him admirably during the first few weeks of his injury, when the South Korean forward broke his arm and Steven Bergwijn went down injured too, Tottenham became a rudderless ship.

Captain Kane will soon be back to steer it.

Sissoko close to Tottenham return

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Moussa Sissoko is closing in on a return for Tottenham and my how Jose Mourinho has missed the Frenchman.

Sissoko, 30, went down with a knee injury in the defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day and has since had surgery but is going to return quicker than expected.

Speaking to Tottenham’s website, Moussa Sissoko gave the following update on his recovery.

“I’m fine, my knee’s okay. I’ve been training with the team for nearly two weeks now and everything is okay. I’m trying to build up my fitness and trying to be ready for when we’re allowed to play again,” Sissoko said.

Tottenham are one of the teams who look set to benefit most from the current suspension of the Premier League season until at least April 30. Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Steven Bergwijn and Sissoko have all suffered serious injuries in recent months but Mourinho could have them fit and available for their final nine games of the season as they focus solely on the final nine games of the Premier League season.

Having Sissoko back would be a huge help to Mourinho as Tottenham have often been overpowered in central midfield with Harry Winks out of form and Eric Dier preferred at center back in recent weeks. Sissoko’s ability to run with the ball, win it back and link midfield and attack has been badly missed.

Sissoko, born in France, has also issued a message to everyone amid the coronavirus pandemic as he is in constant contact with his family in France.

“It’s a very sad situation, all the world is affected,” Moussa Sissoko added. “We need to be sensible and try to follow protocols. Hopefully in a few weeks or a few months everything will be okay and everyone can go back to normal life and try to enjoy life. Everyone needs to be careful and like I said, follow the protocols, stay at home and try to be safe, take care of your family. At the same time, it’s a good opportunity to spend time with your family and have some love together because as I said, at the moment the world is sad and we don’t like to see this kind of thing, but we need to stick together and hopefully, in a few weeks or few months, we’ll have a better world.”

Mourinho: Injury-hit Spurs need to be ‘very strong to cope with limitations’

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Jose Mourinho is taking the simplest approach to Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League exit.

Spurs were rolled over by RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, falling 3-0 on the day and 4-0 on aggregate without Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, and Steven Bergwijn.

[ MORE: Dele Alli reaction ]

Mourinho said things were going to have go nearly perfect for Spurs to overcome the 1-0 first leg deficit without those key pieces.

Spurs were not close to their best, and they were punished.

“There is nobody to blame when it looks like in every match we have a traumatic injury that ends with months and months,” he said on television after the match. “That’s the history of this season. It started with problems and you look at when I arrived our position at the table. The negative history starts with the first injury and look to our bench and look to our pitch with Tanganga with his first (Champions League) match and Sessegnon his second match. It’s very, very hard.”

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Mourinho said he’s confident his team will be much better when healthy next season, adding Kane, Son, Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko to the fold.

That doesn’t help much ahead of a huge weekend tilt with Manchester United. Spurs will have two more days rest than the Red Devils, but can fall seven points back of the top five with a loss on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“With the squad we have it’s going to be very difficult if we have the same squad we had today tomorrow,” he said in his post-match press conference, via Football.London. “We have games ahead and we have to fight. We are going to fight and the players need to be very strong to cope with the limitations we have. We are not going to recover any players before Sunday.”

That’s an awful lot of foreshadowing from Mourinho, who would do well to strike a more positive pose for his players and fans ahead of a reunion with old pals Manchester United.

Dele after Champions League exit: ‘We have to fight. We can’t hide.’

Dele Alli
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Dele Alli was one of many Tottenham players to struggle mightily in a 3-0 second leg loss to RB Leipzig that sent Spurs out of the UEFA Champions League.

“We had to show our maturity and fight and we didn’t do that,” he said.

[ MORE: Mourinho reaction ]

Dele had nothing going as Spurs fell 4-0 on aggregate, winning just seven of 22 duels according to SofaScore while managing a single off-target shot and failing to complete a dribble.

Contrast that to his performance in last season’s memorable comeback over Ajax in the UCL semifinals, collecting two assists.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

“It’s devastating,” Dele said. “We had belief before the game and we didn’t perform and this is the Champions League and if you don’t step up, you’re going to be punished.”

Dele refused to use the club’s myriad injuries in attack as an excuse, as Steven Bergwijn, Harry Kane, and Heung-Min Son all missed out.

“This is Tottenham and the players who come in have to step up and we haven’t done that,” he said. “Just gutted. We have to apologize to the fans, they traveled all this way to go out and lose like that.

“We have to fight. We can’t hide. We know this hasn’t been a good season for us. We have to keep fighting. Games like this brings you down to reality. Reality is we’re in a bad situation that we have to turn around and we’re the only ones who can do it. Confidence is gone at the minute.”

It sure is, and Spurs’ UCL future is in jeopardy. Tottenham plays Manchester United at the weekend and would drop seven points back of the fifth-place Red Devils with a loss.

LIVE, UCL last 16: Leipzig v. Tottenham; Valencia v. Atalanta

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The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second legs kick off this week and  and Paris Saint-Germain head to Borussia Dortmund in what should be two epic battles.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

As for Spurs and Jose Mourinho, he may actually start himself up front as Harry KaneHeung-Min Son and now Steven Bergwijn are all out injured. They trail 1-0 from the first leg against Leipzig and are lucky to still be in the tie as Julian Nagelsmann’s exciting side, led by Timo Werner, squandered several chances in the first leg in north London.

After being dumped out of the FA Cup and losing ground in the top four race in recent weeks, a deep run in the Champions League is exactly what Mourinho will be hoping for as he aims to try and salvage something from a nightmare first few months in charge at Tottenham.

[ MORE: Which Premier League team(s) will reach last eight? ]

Elsewhere, Valencia host Atalanta in an empty stadium due to fears over the coronavirus spreading. The northern Italian side have a 4-1 lead from the first leg and their first-ever Champions League campaign looks set to continue to at least the quarterfinal stage unless Valencia come flying out of the traps at the Mestalla.

Below is the full schedule for the two UCL last 16 second leg games on Tuesday, with both games kicking off at 4 p.m. ET. You can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.


Tuesday Champions League action (first leg scores listed)

RB Leipzig v. Tottenham (1-0)
Valencia v. Atalanta (1-4)