Harry Kane was too 'tired' to play the full 90 minutes for Tottenham, admitted Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino after the 2-2 draw with Stoke.
The England striker was taken off after just an hour with Tottenham leading 2-0 - after he was withdrawn the home side struggled to clear their lines and Stoke eventually fought their way back into the match to earn a point.
Kane again failed to get on the scoresheet and Pochettino admitted he needed reinforcements up front after the sale of Roberto Soldado - Saido Berahino has been heavily linked with a move to White Hart Lane.
"[Kane] was tired," Pochettino said after the draw.
"He came later in pre-season and it is normal. He is better but he needs time to arrive. We knew before the end of last season Harry Kane would play a lot and the consequences you can see now.
"Every game is different, today my feeling was he was tired.
"This is the truth, at 2-0, after 65 minutes, I think it was enough for him. We don't take risks with his body."
Kane's lack of fitness will be a concern for Pochettino, particularly given the club's shortage of options up front with Roberto Soldado having already departed for Villarreal and Emmanuel Adebayor not in the Argentinian's plans.
The signing of Lyon forward Clinton N'Jie was confirmed before kick-off on Saturday morning but the Cameroon international is more comfortable playing wide in an attacking three, rather than as a centre forward.
"N'Jie can play in different positions. Centrally? He can play there but I think we need another centre forward," Pochettino said.
"We need to add some more players to the squad but don't worry, I think today we deserved to win - it wasn't a problem about the strikers."
The draw means Tottenham have taken only one point from their opening two matches after losing at Manchester United on the opening day of the season.
"This is the beginning of the season," Pochettino said.
"It is true we have taken only one point from two games but the performance against Manchester United was good, today was very good in the first 70 minutes, but we need to be more consistent over 90 minutes."
Hughes has now led Stoke to two wins and a draw in their his three meetings with Spurs and the Welshman was delighted with the impact of his own substitutes, with Stephen Ireland and Joselu both playing a part in the Potters' goals.
"At 2-0 it was a big ask for us but it's fair to say we had a discussion at half time," Hughes said.
"We didn't allow Tottenham to have much easy possession in their own half, we affected the rhythm of their play and the introductions of Stephen and Joselu gave us ball retention in the key areas.
"If we had had 10 or 15 more minutes maybe we would have won it but given the circumstances we're delighted to have come back and got a point out the game."
Additional reporting from PA
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