Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has admitted that he understands why the Tottenham fans booed the team’s first-half performance against Leeds United.
It was a game of two halves on Sunday, with Leeds monopolising possession in the first-half and deservingly going into the break with a 1-0 lead.
However, Spurs gave a much better account of themselves in the second half and were able to turn the result around through goals from Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon.
When asked about the jeering from the home fans at the half-time interval, Antonio Conte admitted after the game that it was up to the team to get the fans onside by putting in a good showing.
Hojbjerg also conveyed a similar sentiment, insisting the players understand the expectation that comes with playing for Tottenham.
When asked about the reaction of the crowd at half-time, the Denmark international told Football.London: “I kind of understand it. I hope it won’t happen again but I understand there are high demands, high pressure.
“The fans have great expectations because we’re a great team, so I take that as a compliment. We’re here to perform well and let the fans celebrate, which is the main thing.
“We did that in the second half and the fans were incredible in the second half also, so let’s try to do that from the start.”
Hojbjerg’s equaliser just before the hour mark was crucial for Tottenham’s momentum and rather than celebrating his goal, the midfielder gestured to his teammates to bring the ball back to the centre circle quickly.
When asked about his non-celebration, the 26-year-old said: “I was actually a little bit annoyed because we should have scored a couple of times before and the game wasn’t technically going well.
“So it was more like ‘I scored but let’s get back and get another one’ because at home a draw I was never going to be celebrating. I only celebrate the wins and we did that.”
Hojbjerg admitted that the result on Sunday was huge for the club to build momentum at the start of the Antonio Conte era.
When asked about the positive start under the Italian with four points from two matches, the former Southampton man responded: “Yeah but step by step.
“I think the reaction after the game and the second goal showed how much it means for us.
“Technically, it wasn’t a perfect game from us. A couple of mistakes. I have to say the way Leeds play is very demanding and very aggressive.
“They cause these individual mistakes, but I thought collectively we came out for the second half very aggressively, on top with a good attitude.
“We got the stadium with us, with fantastic support. To come back the way we did, from a character and mental point of view, I thought was very important and very strong.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Hojbjerg gets a fair bit of criticism from a section of the Spurs fan base for his technical flaws but one cannot ignore what he brings to the side with regards to his leadership and mentality.
That is perhaps why I see him and Eric Dier continuing to be a fixture in our starting eleven under Conte as the Italian keeps stressing the need to for the players to have passion and be mentally strong.
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