Mauricio Pochettino defends using 'icon' Harry Kane in Tottenham's FA Cup thrashing of Tranmere Rovers
England striker came off the bench for the final 15 minutes despite his team leading 6-0 at the time
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended his decision to bring striker Harry Kane off the bench during the Premier League side's 7-0 rout of League Two Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup third round on Friday.
Spurs were forced to wait until the 40th minute to break the deadlock at Prenton Park through Ivory Coast full-back Serge Aurier, but it was a different story in the second half. Spanish striker Fernando Llorente grabbed his first minutes after the interval, before Aurier scored his second and South Korean forward Son Heung-min made it 3-0.
Llorente then scored twice in two minutes to complete his hat-trick and give Tottenham a 6-0 lead. He was then replaced in the 75th minute by Kane, who completed the scoring eight minutes from time.
While the introduction of Kane could be seen as an unnecessary step, Pochettino suggested he did so to be fair to the Tranmere supporters who had turned out on a cold night.
"It was the plan to give Harry Kane 15-20 minutes to play, he always wants to play. It is important too for the fans here and the opponents to enjoy Harry Kane, he's an icon in England and not everyone can have the opportunity to see him," he said.
"It was important to show some respect to the people who are here, it was very nice for everyone."
Tranmere manager Micky Mellon acknowledged his team, who won promotion to League Two from the fifth-tier National League last season, were outclassed by a side who are third in the top flight.
"You have to say that Spurs are fantastic haven't you? We will be disappointed with certain moments and a lot of the goals," he said. "But listen that's what happens when you make mistakes. You get punished. We got punished very, very heavily.
"They are a fantastic football team with outrageously good players. Sometimes you have to put your hands up and say they were brilliant."
Updated: January 5, 2019 09:57 AM