Tottenham striker Harry Kane has admitted that his start to the season has not been what it might have.
The England ace has three goals to his credit and shook a monkey off his back by finally netting a Premier League goal in August, but has still come in for criticism, with his overall level having dipped from the high standards that he has set.
Over the course of the last four seasons, he has netted over 100 Premier League goals, winning the competition’s Golden Boot in 2016 and 2017.
While he may not currently be on target for such awards this term, he has, nevertheless, welcomed the attention and was back on target in the weekend's 2-0 win over Brighton.
“Of course I feel I could have done better in most games this season,” he admitted. “Brighton was probably the first game I was truly happy with my all-round performance.
“I felt good. As a striker you are going to be under the microscope more than everyone else.
“That is the life of the striker. You will get chances, miss chances, feel you can hold it up better. All you can do is look forward and try and improve.
“I would 100 per cent rather have the focus than not have it.
“I have scored three goals this season which is not terrible. Obviously, when you set standards in other seasons and other games, people will talk if you do not reach them and I am the first to analyse my game and see what I could do better.
“As a striker, you go through good spells, bad spells. The most important thing for me is to work hard for the team - to do a good shift for the team. I am always pleased to score.”
Meanwhile, Kane admits that his team-mates have been forced to take a look at themselves after a difficult start to the season.
They lost three times in succession for the first time under Mauricio Pochettino, including a 2-1 loss against Inter in the Champions League, which prompted some self-scrutiny.
“We all talk around the training ground but there was not an official meeting,” he explained. “We are in a tough spell but that is football.
“The only way to get through that is to work harder, whether that is on the training pitch or during games.
“It was important as a team that we were all better and all had more energy.
“A lot of us played in the World Cup and a lot of people have been talking about that but we all feel fit and sharp.
“It is important we proved that. A lot of people speak about tiredness and fatigue but we all feel fine. We all feel good.”