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Cahill: Controversial Kane challenges ‘just part of football’

The Tottenham forward has come under fire in recent weeks after a series of incidents involving him backing into opposition players while they challenge for the ball in the air.

Arsenal defender Gabriel landed awkwardly after such a clash in last Sunday’s north London derby, while Kane even won a penalty against Brighton’s Adam Lallana using the tactic earlier this season.

Rival fans and some pundits have voiced concerns over welfare if more is not done to protect airborne players, citing examples in rugby, but ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Selhurst Park, Cahill stuck up for his former England teammate.

“I think that’s just part of football,” Cahill told Sky Sports. “Again I think an element of that is being clever and experience and knowing when you can maybe draw a foul in.

“I’ve seen it numerous times when I was with England and training with Harry, that he just uses his body well. I think [Heung-Min] Son does the same – they use their body very well. They put their body in between the ball and yourself and any sort of contact, they know that potentially there could be fouls and in and around the box is dangerous.

“I study the opposition but I would say also you know the opposition, with players like that, you’ve seen them year after year so you know their strengths and it’s just how best you can deal with them on the day.”

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