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Not Harry Kane! Pochettino lauds the real Spurs star who inspired the Ajax win

May 10, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The 47-year-old manager has hailed the hero whose words instigated a turnaround in the midweek European cup game.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has rubbished claims that Harry Kane's "mental" half-time team talk was what sparked the dramatic win over Ajax in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final encounter. Instead, the Argentine coach singled out skipper Hugo Lloris for praise after the goalkeeper inspired his teammates before Lucas Moura's hattrick sealed a historic final berth for Spurs.

Following the end of the clash, Kane's compatriot Kieran Trippier revealed that the injured English striker went "mental" in the dressing room.

"Harry is exceptional for club and country," the 29-year-old full-back told Sky Sports.

"I don't know the timescale with his injury but obviously we're all hoping he can be back because of his presence, even here at half-time, he's coming in going mental at us because we can do better which we all knew.

"But this is what we need, the leadership that he has, the way he came in at half-time. He wasn't happy and we all knew that.

"He just gives us that extra lift because his presence is massive for us."

However, Mauricio Pochettino has delivered a statement contrary to the pronouncement of Trippier although he acknowledged Kane's presence at the dressing room during the half time at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

"It surprised me," Pochettino stated at a news conference on Friday.

"Listen to Trippier - he didn't say Harry was talking. It wasn't a team talk [from Harry]. He was there like Davinson Sanchez or another player not involved.

"Trippier said 'his presence'. Harry was there and translated confidence and of course emotion.

"But to be honest, I was talking. It wasn't a moment to talk too much. And at the end who lifted them before they went on the pitch was our captain, Hugo Lloris. I remember the words of Hugo Lloris as I was leaving the dressing room. He was shouting, 'We are close, we need to score one goal more, never give up and try because the moment we score we're going to be in the tie'.

"Harry was there, listening to us. Maybe Trippier loved Harry was there and for himself, it translated confidence. I promise our captain was very good, with the last word and before the game too, with the last word. It's always our captain who talks after me. Hugo was brilliant."

Tottenham will go head-to-head with Liverpool in the Champions League Final at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1.

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