Antonio Conte has admitted that Tottenham’s performance against Southampton showed how much the North Londoners have to improve to get to the level they want to.

The encounter on Wednesday was quite a topsy-turvy one and it looked like the home side were going to come away with all three points despite not being at their best when Son Heung-min gave them the lead for the second time in the match in the 70th minute.

However, the Lilywhites had a couple of defensive lapses towards the end and the Saints made them pay on both occasions, with Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams both netting in a space of two minutes to give the away side the win.

Conte admitted that the first-half performance was concerning and some players lost confidence on the back of a few mistakes.

He insisted that his side played in the manner that he wanted them to in the second half despite eventually ending up on the losing side. He also revealed what he told the players at half-time and full-time.

The Spurs boss told Football.London in his post-match press conference: “I think the first half we have struggled a lot in the situation to put pressure, it was the same. It was the same in the second half. In the first half we were not so I don’t know, I don’t know why.

“I think in my opinion the first half we made many many mistakes with the ball and this created problems – also without the ball because when you lose confidence you lose confidence in every aspect, with and without the ball.

“Then after the first and second half I spoke with the players and said ok, football you can make a mistake but then you have to play again.

“Otherwise, when you make a mistake and go down and don’t want to play, don’t want to press, don’t want to run – to protect yourself, and we are in trouble.

“I think this is what happened because in the second half I asked them to be brave, to have courage with the ball, without the ball and I think we played a good second half until the goal.

“Then we conceded two goals that for sure we could avoid. Because we were with the defensive line in the position and… yeah but I repeat these are part of the process and I repeat always the same thing, to get three points we have to struggle.

“We have to struggle and give 120 per cent, and I repeat the effort today was the maximum. I can’t tell you that my players the effort was not good, the commitment was not good – no.

“I have to tell thanks to my players because the commitments was top. But then you know you have to improve in many, many aspects – and we have a long, long road in front of us.”

Spurs Web Opinion

As difficult as yesterday’s defeat was to take, particularly after we took the lead in the 70th minute, we have to go through days like this in order to become a top side.

The likes of Sanchez and Davies have been excellent over the last few months, which is why I do not think it is fair to be too critical of them after yesterday’s performance.

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