Antonio Conte said "every game has to be a sporting war" for Tottenham Hotspur after Harry Kane hit another goal landmark by striking twice in a hard-fought 2-0 Premier League win over Nottingham Forest.
The England captain scored in either half to help Spurs maintain their unbeaten start to the season, although the striker had a penalty saved by Dean Henderson between his two goals.
The result lifted Conte’s side into third place in the standings, two points behind their pace-setting north London rivals Arsenal, and the Italian was impressed by the attitude and application of his players.
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“Our start [to the season] was good. It’s important in the Premier League to try to get three points in every game. We have to continue in this way, it’s not easy, another clean sheet and we scored two goals,” Conte told BBC Sport.
“Many players are improving in many aspects. We have to trust in ourselves. In the Premier League there are top teams who want to try to fight.
“It’s always a sporting war. After a game there’s a winner and a loser. Every game has to be a sporting war for us.”
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Kane netted the 200th league goal of his career to open the scoring after five minutes, but he was denied a second early in the second half when Henderson thwarted him from the penalty spot.
However, the striker made amends by heading in a brilliant Richarlison cross with nine minutes to go.
That strike saw Kane climb to 187 Premier League goals, drawing level with Andrew Cole in third place in the all-time ranking, only behind Wayne Rooney (208 goals) and Alan Shearer (260).
But the Spurs skipper admitted there is still much room for improvement from his side.
"Any Premier League game we expect a tough match, especially away from home,” Kane told Sky Sports.
“We had a great pre-season and physically feel really good. We're just not quite showing it yet.
“We're still winning games which is the most important thing. We're becoming stronger as the game goes on.
“There's a long season left and we're still grinding out wins when we're not playing our best which is important.
"We have a fantastic manager, a really strong squad and we will need that squad over the next period as it's a busy schedule.
"It's important those players who haven't started games yet to be ready for their opportunity. We have started well but as we know in the Premier League it can soon turn around."
Spurs travel to West Ham next on Wednesday, before hosting Fulham on Saturday in a busy week of Premier League action.
Their Champions League campaign then gets underway on September 7 at home to Marseille, with games against Sporting CP and Eintracht Frankfurt to come later.
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