Tottenham’s assistant head coach Cristian Stellini has admitted that the coaching staff have worked hard with the players to avoid conceding the first goal, which Spurs have been guilty of doing quite often over recent weeks.
Spurs do boast a decent record in games when they have gone behind since Antonio Conte arrived at the club, with the Lilywhites often showing resilience to fight until the final whistle.
That resilience was in evidence at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with Tottenham going 2-0 down at the start of the second half before producing a memorable comeback to win 3-2.
However, the Lilywhites will want to avoid a similar situation against Marseille, given that their Champions League ambitions depend on the result this evening.
Stellini admitted that the coaching staff have worked to try and change the team’s habit of starting slow in the first half of matches, and spoke about the importance of playing with intensity right from kick-off in France.
When asked about Tottenham’s record of conceding first in eight of their last 11 matches, the Italian told Football.London: “Yes, this is one of the key messages we gave to the players. In the last period, we worked a lot to change this routine.
“It happened a lot in the last period, when we conceded first and we were slow in the first half. It’s normal in this period that we have not the energy to play 90 minutes with greater intensity but it happens more in the first half.
“It’s a key message we sent to the players and we work on this aspect to create a perfect solution to start well. It will be hard for 90 minutes and we have to start well. We work in the last two weeks to improve this aspect.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Ever since Conte and his coaching staff took over at Tottenham a year ago, there has been this problem of the team starting slow before playing their best football in the second half.
The way we finish games can be put down to the fact that we are often fitter than our opponents but there is no doubt that we need to be more aggressive at the start of matches.
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