Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has defended his record of nurturing strikers following criticism from former Arsenal player Paul Merson.
After Harry Kane drew a blank in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United, Merson said the forward would not manage a high goal return under Mourinho because of his style of play.
Kane had scored seven in 11 games under Mourinho before Friday’s league match.
“I think Kane has no problems scoring in my teams,” the Portuguese said.
The England captain was playing in his first match since recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered on 1 January.
Kane managed 36 touches of the ball during the match – only goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had fewer among the players to have played the entire game. He had one shot on target.
“It was a game where the two strikers [Anthony Martial for United] had a lot of chances,” Mourinho added.
“Do you give credit to my defence for Martial game? Do you give credit for United defence for the game and the occasions that we create or didn’t create?”
Mourinho also reeled off the goal records of strikers he previously managed, including former Chelsea man Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, who he had at Real Madrid, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who worked with the 57-year-old at Manchester United and Inter Milan.
“I had a few strikers that played for me and they are not bad,” he said.
Addressing Merson, he added: “Dear Paul, I have lots of respect for you. I think Harry Kane has no problems scoring goals in my teams, especially when he is fit, fresh and has a routine of playing.
“That’s my message to somebody I have a lot of respect for.”
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By BBC Sports