Tottenham striker Harry Kane remains confident he can pip Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
Kane is bidding to finish the campaign as the division’s top scorer for a third successive season, a feat no player has managed since Thierry Henry did it between 2003 and 2006.
Yet Kane, who has scored 24 times in the league, currently trails Salah by five goals having seen the Egyptian bag five against Watford and Crystal Palace while his nearest rival was out injured last month.
Spurs have six top-flight games remaining, while the Reds only have five, and Kane is convinced he can surpass Salah’s total haul.
“I still believe I can,” the England international said. “Look, whatever happens, there are still games to go. I’ve got to focus on my game. I can’t control what he does.
“Obviously as a striker, it would be great to win the Golden Boot again and I will keep working hard from now until the end of the season.”
Kane’s cause would be helped if he is credited with Tottenham’s winner against Stoke on Saturday, even though the Premier League Match Centre determined Christian Eriksen was the scorer.
Kane is adamant Eriksen’s free kick grazed his shoulder before the ball went past Potters goalkeeper Jack Butland and Spurs could decide to appeal against the decision to award their Danish midfielder with the goal.
“I swear on my daughter’s life that I touched the ball, but there’s nothing I can do,” Kane argued. “If [the Premier League] turn it around, they turn it around. If they take my word, they take my word.
“It is what it is — the most important thing is that we won the game.”
It had been feared Kane would still be sidelined at this point in the season by an ankle injury he sustained against Bournemouth on March 11, but the 24-year-old only ended up missing an FA Cup victory over Swansea.
He completed his first 90 minutes since then at the weekend and is confident his enforced mini-break will stand him in good stead for this summer’s World Cup.
“It was good to get the minutes last week [against Chelsea] and the 90 minutes on Saturday,” Kane added. “It’s all positive. The ankle feels fine. We’ve got a week now to train and I’ll get stronger and stronger.
“It happened similar last year and I came back strong and that’s what I’m aiming to do this summer and take that into the World Cup. I feel good at the moment and it’s important I stay fit and healthy and help the team.”
Time is running out for Stoke to preserve their Premier League status as they remain four points adrift of safety with only five matches remaining.
Having recently played Spurs, Manchester City and Arsenal, their boss Paul Lambert believes they need three victories from a run-in that features encounters with West Ham, Burnley, Liverpool, Palace and Swansea.
“Of course we still believe we can stay up,” said defender Bruno Martins Indi. “We have to keep going, keep fighting and keep believing.”