Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended Harry Kane's form, branding the star striker an "easy target" for criticism.
Kane has failed to score in his past four appearances for club and country with fatigue raised as a possible explanation for a sluggish start to the season.
However, the 25-year-old England captain is rarely rested and seems certain to start again in the Champions League meeting with Inter in Italy on Tuesday.
Pochettino insists Kane's struggles are not down to the individual, and that tiredness is of no concern.
"Harry is an easy target because it's easy when he's not scoring to start to talk about him," Pochettino said.
"But Harry, after four years at the club, there are a lot of things to say thank you to him.
"Of course he needs to improve, but the team needs to improve. But it's easy to blame Harry, it's an easy judgement."
Mauricio: "It will be a very competitive group stage and it’s very important for us to get a positive result tomorrow. Both teams arrive in a similar situation and we’re both going to fight to change that feeling." pic.twitter.com/5JIQ3jPwvz— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 17, 2018
The English club head to San Siro in the aftermath of two disheartening Premier League defeats, although opponents Inter are themselves reeling from winning just one of their opening four Serie A fixtures.
While his team have the chance to make amends for their recent patchy spell, Pochettino holds little hope of advancing deep into the Champions League based on current form.
"I don't think we're realistic contenders in any competition. That's my view," he said.
"If we show the face from some bits of [beating Manchester United at] Old Trafford, then maybe yes.
"The last two defeats have been so good as a wake-up call."
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