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Conte dismisses concerns over ‘world-class’ Kane as Spurs comeback looms


Ottenham boss Antonio Conte says he has no concerns about Harry Kane’s state of mind after his crucial penalty in England’s World Cup exit against France .

Three Lions captain Kane had a chance to equalize from the spot and potentially force extra time in the two sides’ quarter-final encounter in Qatar, but after already beating club team-mate Hugo Lloris from 12 yards once in the game, blasted his second penalty well over the bar.

Eventual runners-up France won 2-1 and Kane then claimed full responsibility for the loss.

The 29-year-old is set for an early return to action when the Premier League season resumes with Spurs’ Boxing Day trip to Brentford, and Conte insists he is not worried about a potential hangover.

“No, because we are talking about a world-class striker,” Conte said. “Football is like that: in football you can have exciting moments and also moments when you are disappointed because you miss the second penalty – the first he scored.

“Me, when I was a player, I never missed a penalty because I didn’t take one! Never! But on penalties, I lost a World Cup against Brazil [with Italy, in 1994]. You go through those moments and you’re really disappointed and, sure, at first you’re sad but then you know you have to move on.

Back to business: Harry Kane returned to Tottenham training on Thursday

/ Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

“Football gives you the opportunity to have other chances and to enjoy football. Remember, we do this job and we are really happy. Honestly, I don’t care. [Kane]. I saw it [looking] very well in these two days with us.”

Lloris has also returned from his World Cup heroics but is expected to start on the bench against Brentford. Like Kane, the Spurs skipper is finally facing disappointment, having been on the wrong end of Sunday’s epic final against Argentina.

Victory for France would have seen Lloris become the first captain to win the World Cup twice, but Conte urged his goalkeeper to see the positives after producing a fine string of individual performances en route to the final.

“On the one hand, of course, you can be disappointed but on the other, for the second time in a row, France have reached the World Cup final,” Conte said.

“It’s a big, big achievement because these tournaments are really tough. Of course it was a great chance for him to win twice and do something extraordinary in his career, but at the same time Hugo has also shown in this World Cup that he is a fantastic goalkeeper.

“When you play the final you want to win but everyone has won and lost finals. If I have to tell you how many finals I have lost we will be there for an hour.

Spurs will have a world champion in their ranks once Argentina defender Cristian Romero returns to the club in time for the New Year’s meeting with Aston Villa.

“On the one hand we are disappointed for Hugo but we are happy for Romero because for him it was the first time he became world champion,” added Conte.

Sports standard

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