Eddie Howe confident Bournemouth can keep ‚outstanding‘ Harry Kane quiet
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has challenged his players to keep „outstanding“ Tottenham forward Harry Kane quiet at Wembley – just like they did to fellow England frontman Jamie Vardy before the international break.
The Cherries head to the national stadium as domestic action resumes looking to build on an encouraging goalless draw at home to Leicester and start moving up the table.
Vardy had three goals in his previous three appearances before a blank at the Vitality Stadium, but, after a barren August, Kane shows no signs of stalling.
The Spurs frontman took his tally to 15 for the season with the only goal in each of England’s final World Cup qualifying victories over Slovenia and away to Lithuania which secured a place in Russia.
Howe accepts the 24-year-old is in sublime form, but is confident the Bournemouth defence will prove up to the challenge again.
„I have obviously watched Harry closely in the last few weeks and his performances have been outstanding,“ Howe said at a press conference.
„Someone who does as well as Harry does consistently, when his desire doesn’t change from game to game, has earned the right to be compared to the top players in the world.
„(But) we kept Jamie Vardy quiet, who is another good striker, in our last game and if we can do that again then we will be happy.“
Bournemouth forward Jermain Defoe is determined to be on the plane to Russia, but the 35-year-old knows he must produce the goods consistently in the Premier League, with only one goal so far.
Howe, though, is not overly concerned by his team’s collective drop in strike rate, having netted just four times in the Premier League from seven matches.
„Goalscoring has been a problem for us this season, which isn’t like us, but hopefully we can turn that round from now on,“ Howe said, in quotes published on the club’s official website.
„When you look at Jermain Defoe, he has had big chances in all the games and when you look at his career if he gets those chances he will score.
„It is a team problem and I back Jermain to score a lot of goals for us in the future.“
Howe added: „We are almost there in terms of getting consistent results. The problem at the start was that the performances weren’t there, but we have improved now and that gives us confidence.“
Spurs have yet to win a Premier League match since moving into Wembley as White Hart Lane undergoes redevelopment.
Howe hopes the Bournemouth players will be able to produce the required work-rate, irrespective of the stage.
„We have to treat it as we are playing Tottenham, and prepare to play them, not the venue, that is not important,“ he said.
„From our perspective, the bigger the crowd and the bigger the game, they are the type of occasions I hope the players will relish – but it is all about the performance for me.“