‘To be nasty is very important’ – Conte on the mentality he wants at Tottenham

Antonio Conte
(Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Antonio Conte has revealed what the Tottenham Hotspur players need to do to take the next step in their progression after recording a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Chelsea.

Tottenham travelled to Stamford Bridge and rescued a point in the dying moments of the London Derby last weekend, which was even more impressive considering how Spurs failed to perform at anything close to the levels they showed in the 4-1 win over Southampton.

Spurs were on the receiving end of three losses at the hands of Thomas Tuchel’s team last season under Conte. As such, getting a draw on the road despite not performing to the full extent of their ability is arguably a great result under the circumstances.

Conte is well-known to possess a winning mentality, which is indicative of his passionate displays on the touchline.

For that very reason, the Italian has admitted his discontent with the draw his side achieved, even if he did acknowledge that the outcome was an improvement.

The 52-year-old has asked his players to see a draw as half a defeat from here on out to further push themselves to new heights. Conte believes the entire team must have this mentality in order to reach their goals this season.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference with Football.London, Conte said: “This is a step that I continue to ask of my players. For sure, we did a little step forward but we need to continue to complete this step. Because to be nasty is very important. Very important.

“It means that you need to feel the blood of your opponent and try in a sporting way to kill your opponent.

“You have to understand, when you go to play a game, you can draw also, but at the same time, you have to understand if the draw is a success for you or if the draw is [like] a loss.

“If you want to have ambition, I think you have to think only to get three points and the draw is half a loss for me. I’m trying to transfer my idea, this feeling. It’s important.

“If you want to be competitive, to have the ambition to fight for something important you have to improve in many aspects.

“Also, your character has to be strong and you have to understand very well the difference between a win, a draw and a loss. It’s totally different.

“The win makes you happy, the feeling is good, and the confidence goes up. When you lose, for you should have the opposite situation.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

This mindset to always demand better is something the players may not have been exposed to so harshly in the past. Perhaps that could be the much-needed boost they need to help with their attempt to end a long-standing trophy drought.

The management have done their part by building a strong squad this summer, but now it is up to those players to compete against challenging oppositions like Manchester City and Liverpool.

For that to happen, they must renew their mentality and find new ways to push themselves under a manager who has been there and done it so many times.

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