Harry Kane would gladly sacrifice individual honours if it meant Tottenham ended the Premier League season on a high by winning their three remaining matches, according to caretaker boss Ryan Mason.
The England captain has failed to score in his last two league games and has been joined at the top of the scoring charts by Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who took his goals tally to 21 with a strike against Manchester United on Thursday.
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Kane’s Tottenham team-mate Son Heung-min are next on the list with 18 and 17 goals respectively, followed by Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin on 16.
Spurs face Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester City in their final three league games and Mason insists the team will come first for Kane, who previously finished top scorer in the English top flight in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
“I know Harry, he’s one of my best friends,” Mason said at a pre-match news conference on Friday ahead of this weekend’s home match with Wolves.
“It he can help us win games and also win the Golden Boot, then happy days. But he won’t compromise the team for the individual awards.”
Spurs were beaten 3-1 by Leeds United last time out in the Premier League and are now eight points adrift of the top four with a game in hand, while Liverpool and West Ham are four and two points better off respectively in the Europa League spots.
Mason’s side will likely have to see out the season by achieving three wins in a row to qualify for UEFA’s secondary competition, something that they have not achieved yet in the top flight this calendar year.
The likelihood is that if Spurs do take nine points from nine, Kane will have had a major say in that success.
“Our target is to get as many points as possible and see where we finish,” Mason said. “It’s very difficult in the Premier League to win three games in a row. Our focus for now has to be on Wolves this weekend.
“At the end of next week we can see where we are. We want to be in European competition, that’s what we expect.”
An unforgettable day
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 14, 2021
Last week’s defeat to Leeds was Tottenham’s 11th loss of the season in the Premier League, matching their tally for the whole of 2019-20. Five of those have been defeats by two or more goals – their most in a season since 2014-15 (also five).
Mason, who has overseen Spurs’ last four matches since the departure of Jose Mourinho, including the EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City, acknowledges the importance of responding with three points against Wolves on Sunday.
“Losing games hurts,” he said. “To lose a cup final hurts massively, to lose a league game hurts massively. They are different emotions because the games were different.
“There were moments in the Leeds one that shaped how the game went against us. We want to win and we expect to win. Any game we lose is disappointing.
“The best therapy is being back on the training pitch. Hopefully at the weekend we’ll be fully prepared.”
Tottenham have lost three of their six home Premier League games against Wolves (50 per cent) – only against Nottingham Forest (60 per cent) have they lost a higher percentage in the competition.
That includes back-to-back away wins in this fixture for Wolves, who are 11 points worse off than their opponents in the table.
This latest meeting between the sides could be overshadowed by possible protests ahead of the game, with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust calling for the club’s executive board to resign as the fallout from the collapsed Super League continues.
However, while Mason respects the supporters’ right to protest, he hopes they will get behind their team on the field when fans are allowed back into grounds from next week.
“I think firstly, I trust our security, the players’ safety is the most important thing,” Mason said. “I respect the fans, their opinion matters, it really does. We want our fans to be aligned, all pulling in the same direction.
“Our chairman and our board have done incredible for this football club. I know our fans respect that. The most important thing is the connection with the fans, who are entitled to their opinion.
“To get them back into our stadium will be a massive bonus. It’s going to be an incredible feeling. It’s been such a long time coming. The noise, we know our fans get behind the team, we’re looking forward to that.
“We’ve got a massive game on Sunday, but of course we’re excited. The football world, society in general, is excited by some sort of normality.”
Mason confirmed full-back Ben Davies is unlikely to play in any of Tottenham’s remaining three games, but his side otherwise have no fresh injury concerns.