Nuno reveals whether second-string Spurs side found it hard to motivate themselves

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Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur fell to an embarrassing defeat in the Netherlands this evening as Vitesse Arnhem recorded a historic 1-0 home win in the Europa Conference League.

In front of a sell-out home crowd, the Eredivisie side did their fans proud and ran Tottenham off the pitch with the superior passion and work rate.

Meanwhile, Tottenham treated their own travelling fans to a display of defensive fragility, a lack of creativity, and a general absence of interest.

Nuno Espirito Santo chose to leave his big-hitters at home after their efforts against Newcastle on Sunday and with one eye on West Ham United away this weekend.

However, the Spurs head coach was let down by his second-string side in Europe once again, who didn’t have Kane, Son and Moura to bail them out from the bench this time.

Nuno was asked whether he should have had some of the big guns on the bench in case of any issues, as well as whether he expected more from the players on the pitch.

Asked whether he should have named a stronger bench, he said (Football London): “You have to discuss the options, the decision was made.

“We took a little moment to decide and we decided to bring the players that started with the Under-23s to give us support. We only used Dilan, because we considered only the game required that.”

On whether the nine internationals on the pitch should have done more, he added: “I knew that the game was going to be tough.

“I am not here to judge the players, I am here to try and improve. The analysis and judgement we do behind closed doors, I am sure you understand.”

On whether any of those players took their chance, Nuno replied: “That is not the question. It’s about having minutes, compete, improve because like you know we have a tough, tough schedule ahead of us and we will need all the players in the best condition as possible.”

Finally, asked whether it was hard for the team to feel motivated when feeling like a second-string XI, Nuno said: “I don’t consider it this way. A football match is always a chance to compete. Our approach is always the same, we expect our players to compete in all the matches, no matter the competition.”

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