‘We have opened ourselves up’ – Sanchez reveals players have fully embraced Conte’s ideas

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Davinson Sanchez
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Davinson Sanchez has raved about the impact Antonio Conte has had at Tottenham and admitted that the players have fully bought into the Italian’s ideas.

Spurs were going nowhere under Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of the season but results have completely turned around since Conte’s arrival at the start of November.

The Lilywhites now look much better organised defensively while also fashioning more chances going forward.

Tottenham are now right back in the race for a top-four finish and have also sealed their progression into the final four of the League Cup.

Sanchez has established himself in Conte’s starting eleven over recent weeks following the injury to Cristian Romero and the Colombian’s performances have been much improved.

The centre-back has now admitted that Conte has provided him and his teammates with much more clarity regarding their roles in the side.

Sanchez told The Daily Mail: “In the time he has been here, we have opened ourselves up to his ideas to find out his philosophy, the way he works, the way he wants everything done, detail by detail.

“To the strikers H (Kane), Sonny, Lucas (Moura) or Stevie (Bergwijn), he says: ‘I want this from you, and then with the quality you have, you can play with the freedom you have always had.

“With us defenders, it is different because it is up to us to close the doors on the pitch. In my position, you need to do everything almost perfectly in every game in order to avoid conceding goals or chances.

“That is why he has explained everything to us, detail by detail, to make it very clear. The concepts are not difficult to get, and when you are open to ideas, it is easier for them (the coaches) and for us.

“Everybody is pushing, himself first and then us. We’re going the right way and building towards being a tough team to play against.”

However, Sanchez admitted that Tottenham are still a work in progress and are continuing to learn about the new system under the Italian.

He added: “At the moment we are building. In this period we didn’t play Burnley, Rennes, Brighton and Leicester, we’ve worked in training on the way we are pressing, our movements at the back, the strikers’ and midfielders’ positions.

“He is going deeper into what he wants, and the results are doing his talking. He has shown in the past what he can do, he is a world-class manager, and for us it is a start.”

The Tottenham defender also raved about the work Patrick Viera has done at Palace and admitted that Spurs expect a tough match against the Eagles this evening.

When asked about the former Arsenal midfielder’s impact at Selhurst Park, Sanchez said: “He is doing well. The players need to learn what the new manager wants, his style.

“They are scoring more goals, getting good results against good opponents, so we don’t want to take risks against them, and our approach and preparation will be the same as we have done recently.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The injury to Romero has seemingly saved Sanchez’s Spurs career as the Colombian might have been sold in January if the Argentine had remained fit.

I have been a big critic of Sanchez in the past but I have been impressed by how well he has performed in the right-centre-back role, which I did not think was a particularly good fit for him.

While the jury is out on whether the 25-year-old is the long-term answer, he certainly deserves to keep his place in the side on the back of his recent performances.

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