Bergwijn reveals what Conte told him ahead of the West Ham game

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Steven Bergwijn
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Steven Bergwijn has revealed that Antonio Conte encouraged him to drive into space whenever he got an opportunity to do so against West Ham.

Bergwijn was handed his first start under the Italian in Tottenham’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham on Wednesday.

The Dutchman certainly repaid the Spurs boss’ faith, getting a goal and an assist in Spurs’ 2-1 win.

After a sluggish start to the game, Bergwijn grew in confidence as the Hammers struggled to cope with the Dutchman’s runs on and off the ball.

The winger’s work for Tottenham’s second goal was particularly impressive as he stood up a couple of West Ham players, went past them with ease and played a perfect ball across the face of the goal for Lucas Moura to tap in.

Bergwijn admitted his delight at being able to get a goal and assist, revealing that Conte had asked him to take risks on the ball.

After his performance against the Hammers, the former PSV Eindhoven man told the club’s official website: “It’s always nice to get a goal and an assist.

“I didn’t play for a while, okay, 10 minutes maybe, but it’s different when you start a game. After the goal, it went alright, I think. I’m happy.

“It’s my quality to go one v one and the coach said to me, ‘when you get the opportunity, do it.’ I saw the space and did it.”

Berwijn praised the way in which the team dug in towards the end to see out the win when they were being put under pressure by the away side.

He added: “The coach said before that the players who start need to give him answers. At the beginning of the game, I lost a couple of easy balls, but after that, I think I did a better job. I’m just happy with the win.

“We knew we’d have to fight until the end, and the second half was more about the fight than playing football, but that’s what we needed in this game. It’s one game, one chance.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It was evident in the first twenty minutes that Berwijn was nervous and lacking a little confidence. However, the goal did him a world of good and he looked a different player after that. Hopefully, that performance helps restore his self-belief and he continues being brave on the ball in the final third.

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