Kane’s state of mind no concern to Conte after World Cup penalty pain

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Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has insisted Harry Kane will be in the right frame of mind when the England striker returns to Premier League action following his World Cup heartache.

Kane’s missed penalty late on against Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris was a key moment in England’s 2-1 quarter-final loss to France.

However, Conte expects his star player, who has 12 league goals this term, to put that disappointment behind him now that he is back on club duty, starting with Monday’s clash at London rivals Brentford.

“No, honestly (I am not worried) because we’re talking about a world-class striker,” said Conte, who was part of the Italy squad that lost to Brazil on penalties in the 1994 World Cup final.

“In football you can have exciting moments and you can also have a moment where you are a bit disappointed because you missed a second penalty. The first he scored.

“I am not worried about him. I saw him very well in these two days with us.”

Tottenham are currently fourth in the table but eight points behind leaders Arsenal (37), having played a game more than their bitter north London rivals.

Conte’s contract is set to expire after the end of the season, although Spurs do have the option to extend it by 12 months.

When asked about the situation, he said: “I think I would like also in the future to not speak about this matter… because I think it is much more important the game we are going to play.

“In this case Brentford but what I can tell you is I’m really happy in the club, to work here. I have a really good relationship with the club.

“We talk every day, try to find in every situation the best solution but we have six months to stay together, to enjoy the situation and then we find, I repeat, the best solution. But I’m really happy here.”

Spurs will be without Argentina’s World Cup-winning defender Cristian Romero at Brentford, while Lloris will be named on the bench if he is involved at all, confirmed Conte.

Striker Richarlison is still three to four weeks out after picking up a hamstring injury during Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final shoot-out loss to Croatia.

The manager also said he is happy with the players he has but that the club will be active in the January transfer window if the right opportunity comes along.

“If there’s the opportunity to strengthen the squad, we’ll do something. You know what is our politics, we try to follow these politics to improve the team,” he said.

“The politics is about young players with not big salaries. We have to sign players who can stay in our vision of the club here.

“Otherwise, we’ll continue with these players. I’m happy with them.”

Reuters/ AFP

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