Matt Doherty has revealed that Antonio Conte wants his wing-backs to defend the back post at one end, then arrive to score at the other after the Lilywhites thrashed Newcastle United 5-1 on Sunday.
Although Newcastle had lost their last two matches coming into the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the game was seen as a potential banana skin for Antonio Conte’s men, given the Magpies’ progress under Eddie Howe.
For the first 45 minutes, that is exactly how it proved to be as the away side defended with men behind the ball and made it difficult for the Lilywhites to fashion opportunities.
However, Tottenham blew Newcastle away at the start of the second half, with their attacking talent coming to the fore.
Doherty admitted that he and his teammates did not panic at the interval despite the game being finely poised at 1-1.
He told Sky Sports’ Main Event tv channel (3/4/21 at 18:32): “They came out and played well and caused us a bit of trouble in the first half. We didn’t really get going.
“At half-time, we just said to stay calm and trust our game and the ability and that chances would come.”
Doherty, who started at left wing-back as a result of Sergio Reguilon’s injury, put in another fine performance, getting a goal and an assist.
When asked about his display, the 30-year-old said: “The manager wants us to defend at the back post and be at the back post at the other end. I was fortunate enough to score and set one up and contribute to the win.”
When quizzed about going above Arsenal to fourth place on goal difference after yesterday’s result, the Republic of Ireland international responded: “Goal difference didn’t cross my mind at all really.
“It was just to get the game won. Four and five are the bonus really. All we can do is focus on what we are doing and the pressure goes on to other teams.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Arsenal have shown over the last couple of months that they are a solid team. However, they do not have the firepower that we do upfront and have only been nicking wins by the odd margin.
So, if we keep winning our matches and putting pressure on the Gunners, I am confident that they will have a slip-up or two. It seems like we are hitting form at just the right time.
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