Football

Antonio Conte weighs in on Harry Kane’s World Cup penalty miss


Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has backed star striker Harry Kane to bounce back from his World Cup heartbreak, insisting the England captain’s state of mind is ‘not a worry’ for him or the club.

Kane scored twice and assisted three more goals in Qatar, but his tournament will now be primarily remembered for his shock penalty miss which led to England crashing out of the competition against France in the quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old had already levelled the scores once in the match with a penalty, but was unable to repeat the feat and blazed over as England went on to lose 2-1.

Fans and pundits alike have been speculating on the psychological effect such a high-profile error could have on Kane. Conte, however, insists he is totally unconcerned and still has complete confidence in the striker’s abilities.

“We are talking about a world-class striker,” Conte told reporters in his Friday press conference.

“I am not worried about it, I saw him these two days with us, [he is] very well. Football is this: you can have an exciting moment and also have a moment when you are disappointed. He missed the second penalty, but he scored the first.

“When I was a player I never missed a penalty because I didn’t [take a] kick. Never. I was a real disaster. But I still lost a final with a penalty [shootout] against Brazil. You live this moment and you are really disappointed, but then you know you have to move on and football gives you the opportunity to have other chances to enjoy.”

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While Kane looks all but certain to start when Spurs return to Premier League action against Brentford on Boxing Day, World Cup finalists Cristian Romero and Hugo Lloris are set to miss the match.

Romero is still in Argentina enjoying his country’s celebrations after helping La Albiceleste win their third World Cup. Lloris, meanwhile, has returned to Hotspur Way but will be on the bench against Brentford as he works to regain his fitness.





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