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Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho has expressed his happiness at Harry Kane scoring for the first time since the Premier League’s return.

England striker Kane failed to find the net in Spurs’ first game back against Manchester United, but sealed the win for his side against West Ham on Tuesday evening.

Tottenham took the lead in north London through a Tomas Soucek own goal before Kane slotted past Lukasz Fabianski in the 82nd minute to make it 2-0.

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“I’m happy for him,” Mourinho said after the match. “He worked a lot and I’m happy for him because, again, better headlines and a better feeling for him.

“He worked phenomenal during this period, even in lockdown – he did amazing work in his house to recover and then with us to get in the condition to help the team, which he is doing.”

Earlier in the week, Mourinho defended his player from criticism by Arsenal legend Paul Merson, and the Portuguese felt Kane proved his quality with his finish.

“It’s minute 85 or 88, fatigued, and even so he had the power, he had the will to go, and then in front of the keeper. I used to say that a tired player misses the majority of the time, and facing Fabianski, he was Harry – he didn’t miss.

“He’s coming back. He’s coming back, step by step.”

Spurs thought they had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Son Heung-min fired a shot past Fabianski and into the bottom corner, but the South Korea international was found to have been offside by a VAR check. Mourinho took encouragement from the period in which Son netted, however, even if the finish did not count.

“I told the players at half-time, if they thought about the last five minutes of the first half, that’s the way,” he said. ”Because in the last five minutes we created more than in the first 40. In the last five we intensified – more movement, more dynamic, we score a ‘goal’ and Lucas [Moura] had a big chance, too.

“So in the second half we knew the way to do it, and our bench was rich to helping to change when we needed to score. When you have a rich bench, it’s easier.

“I’m happy with lots of things today. First of all the result, obviously, then the clean sheet – two matches, one goal conceded on a penalty means something for us. The team is more solid, the players have less doubt, the collective work is better. And then we played against a team with a coach with a lot of experience that organises his team in a very difficult way for us.”

Mourinho also addressed the unusual nature of the Premier League’s schedule amid the competition’s return from a coronavirus-enforced three-month suspension.

“I’m going to be honest and I want to tell something that I’m going to say the opposite in a couple of weeks. I don’t think it’s fair for West Ham to come here with 24 hours less than us, especially within this period where the physical conditioning is not the best. I think for them to have 24 hours less is not nice, the same way that it’s not nice for us when we have three matches in six days and we end that cycle playing against Arsenal.

“Before we started, I had contact with my friends in the Portuguese league, in the German league, in the Spanish league, and tried to get feelings from them. Many of them told me that sometimes they only realise the importance of the game when the game finishes, because during the game sometimes it can feel kind of a friendly.

“And I told the guys at half-time, it’s as simple as that. If we don’t win this game, forget the Champions League fight and focus on the Europa league fight. So if we want to fight still for Champions League with the remaining seven matches, today was win or win.”

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