Antonio Conte expressed his desire to help Harry Kane win trophies at Tottenham after a vital 1-0 win at Fulham.
Kane scored the only goal of a boring relationship in West London with a hallmark finish at halftime as he turned away from Tim Ream and curled into the bottom corner.
It was Kane’s 266th goal for the club, putting him on par with Jimmy Greaves, the Spurs’ all-time record set since 1970.
However, trophies continue to be shunned by the 29-year-old, whom Conte revealed to be playing Monday night despite being uncomfortable.
“Today was great. I think he scored a great goal, execution for controlling the ball and then kicking it like that, only a world class striker could score that goal,” Conte said.
“About the spirit I mentioned earlier, I’d like to point out that Harry was playing hot and not that good, but he understood the moment so he wanted to play.
He understood that he was a reference point for us, for me, for the other players, and he and (goalkeeper) Hugo (Lloris) were the two players who were the reference point for the dressing room. I’m really happy today because I think he was rewarded with a goal.
“Of course, because he loves Tottenham I would like to help him, me and his teammates try to do something important to win something with Tottenham.
“Tottenham is in his heart and it would be good if we could win something together, because then it’s important to have that record, but I think it might be more important if you win a trophy.”
Kane said he was “really proud” of breaking Greaves’ record in a video clip on Tottenham’s Twitter account.
The victory at Craven Cottage ended a difficult period for the Spurs, who lost 4-2 to Manchester City on Thursday night and learned 24 hours later that sporting director Fabio Paratici had been suspended for 30 months due to financial irregularities during his time at Juventus.
Paratici’s suspension currently only applies in Italy and awaits written reasons before any decision on the appeal is made.
A day later, and a small group of fans protested outside the club’s Enfield-based training ground, ENIC owners and president Daniel Levy for their departure.
Further calls for Levy to leave Tottenham were heard in the 1-0 win at Fulham that carried the Spurs to three points from third place.
Conte added: “That was a good answer. After losing to Arsenal and Manchester City, who were first and second in the table, I asked my players to showcase last season’s highlights.
“Will, desire, and suffering when you should suffer. We didn’t have much trouble today, but I saw that they were ready, this could be a start for us.
“Remember, we played against a team that was really surprising this season, they can beat us at the table with a win, it’s not easy to win away here.
So I’m really happy because I repeat that I once again saw the qualities that took us to the Champions League last season.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva was frustrated that his side’s halftime dominance did not translate into a positive outcome.
He also felt that Son Heung-min might have been shown a red card for interfering with Kenny Tete when he caught the home defender above his ankle in the 28th minute.
“Yes, I saw it and at that moment I thought it might be more than a yellow card,” Silva said.
“Of course Kane is a decision maker, he’s also a great player, but we were controlling him and we were punished by him with a great finish.”