‘Changed the whole mentality’ – Spurs defender praises Conte impact

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Matt Doherty
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur defender Matt Doherty has spoken on the positive impact Antonio Conte has had on everyone at the club, claiming the Italian has instilled a winning mentality among the squad.

Conte took over at Tottenham in November 2021 and has transformed the club’s fortunes on the pitch. He guided Spurs to a top-four finish last season, securing a return to the Champions League for the North London club.

Spurs had developed a reputation in recent years of failing to turn up when it really mattered, and being something of a pushover. That reputation appears to be disappearing now under Conte’s ruthless regime.

One player to really benefit from Conte’s management, at least last season, is Matt Doherty. Indeed, Doherty was the biggest benefactor of Conte’s approach until injury halted his progress in April.

Doherty adapted to Conte’s wing-back system fairly quickly, and ended the 2021/22 campaign with two goals and four assists (Transfermarkt). He is yet to start a game this season as he recovers from injury.

While on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, Doherty spoke of Conte’s impact since taking over at Spurs (via Football.London).

He said: “He’s changed the whole mentality of the whole club. He’s made us feel like winners. We know he’s obviously won a lot in the past and we’re kind of trying to do it.

“We have meetings, we have talks where afterwards you feel motivated. I remember when he first came in, we had a meeting and afterwards, you were ready to run through a wall for him.

“Look, he’s one of the best managers that has been around, so whatever he says, we listen to him.

“He just has a lot of passion for what he does and it comes back to us in the way that we are playing and how we press. We absolutely love having him as our manager and are pretty fortunate that he is manager of the club.

 

Spurs Web Opinion

The influence of Antonio Conte is so clear to see among the attitude of the Spurs players now. There was a time when going a goal down would be the end of the game for Tottenham, but now, we don’t ever look like giving up on a game and always seem to find a way to fight back.

It will be great to see Doherty come back into the Spurs side too, and he’s a player who really bought into Conte’s system last year. Replacing Emerson in the right wing-back role, Doherty could prove to be a key figure again for Spurs this season.

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