Swansea manager Bob Bradley has challenged his defenders to find the focus to keep Tottenham striker Harry Kane quiet at White Hart Lane today.
Kane has been boosted by signing a new Spurs deal running until 2022 and now faces a Swansea side who have been vulnerable at the back all season and whose defensive frailties were again exposed in the 5-4 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend.
“Harry Kane is a terrific finisher and you need real concentration right through the match against him,” Bradley said. “You give him a chance and he has a solid record of hitting the target and scoring different kinds of goals. He is a striker where everybody must concentrate for every moment because the slightest lapse is when he pounces. So it is mainly a test of awareness and concentration.”
Swansea managed the first win of the Bradley era in extraordinary circumstances against Palace to climb off the bottom of the table. But Fernando Llorente’s double failed to mask defensive deficiencies which has seen Swansea concede 26 times in 13 league games. Only Hull have conceded more in the top flight and set-pieces are of particular concern, with Swansea’s long-standing fallibility continuing under Bradley.
“We’ve given up four goals from corners in my six games and that’s not a good record,” Bradley said.
“When you look deeper at a crazy match — which the Palace game was — set-pieces have a lot to do with it. Yes, it was a game where we had defensive issues, but it was a prime example of a game where set-pieces on both sides totally threw the game into a tailspin. We have to make more defensive plays, and that includes set-pieces and the second phase, and that is something we have been working on to re-establish confidence.”
Yesterday, Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen followed Kane in penning a new deal with the club, his running until 2019.
Vertonghen said: “This is an unbelievable group of talented guys and I feel privileged to be a part of that. There’s a great atmosphere in the team and a great buzz around Tottenham.”
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