Pochettino: Mask could be affecting Kane

The Tottenham manager believes that his forward's headgear could hinder his creativity as Spurs prepare for a crucial derby match against rivals Arsenal on Saturday
Mauricio Pochettino has admitted Harry Kane's game could be affected by his protective mask as Tottenham prepare for a vital north London derby against Arsenal.

The England striker broke his nose in an FA Cup match against Crystal Palace in February and required an operation to repair the damage. 

He has since failed to score in two Premier League games, against Swansea City and West Ham United, with the latter fixture a potentially costly 1-0 defeat for the title chasers.

“He’s playing with a mask and sometimes it can disturb you,” Pochettino told reporters.

“Maybe it’s easier for Nemanja Matic or different players that play behind [to wear a mask], because creativity is not their problem. But you need to be sharp when you are offensive and creative.”

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The Argentine has no doubt that Kane's woes in front of goal at Upton Park, however, were a one-off.

“Against West Ham, Harry had two or three clear chances to score,” he said.

“He was unlucky. It happens. I have full confidence in him. Sometimes, there is a period in which it is difficult to score. He is not a machine.

“Harry is still learning about how to deal with being a leader and top scorer and one of the key players at Tottenham and the national team. It is not an easy job, but we are happy in the way that he has developed his leadership.”

The young forward, who has hit the net 19 times for Tottenham this season, is expected to wear the mask for a minimum of three more weeks while the injury heals.