Antonio Conte found plenty to be happy about after his Tottenham Hotspur side thrashed Leicester City 6-2 yesterday evening.
In his post-match interview, Conte commented on a poor start to the game, dropping Heung-min Son, and the path ahead for Spurs this season.
Tottenham went into the home fixture against a struggling Leicester City side who were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table. Spurs on the other hand, were yet to lose in their first six matches of the domestic season.
The unbeaten start to the season was spoiled in midweek, where Spurs lost 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. With this in mind, it was important for the North London club to bounce back with a win today.
Conte got exactly the reaction he would have hoped for in the end, with Spurs dominating the second half and Heung-min Son coming off the bench to hit a quickfire hat-trick. The victory here lifts Spurs into second place in the table.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though. In his post-match interview with BBC Sport, Conte addressed the poor first-half showing from his Spurs team and highlighted the need to improve despite the impressive result.
“The most important thing is to get three points after a defeat. It was not easy for us because of how we started. We played well but conceded a penalty and went 1-0 down. We struggled in the first half. We lost a bit of confidence in the first half,” Conte said.
“The subs were really important. Son came in a fantastic way and scored three goals. It’s strange. From the start he scored zero goals and then today in 30 minutes he scored a hat-trick. A lot of positive things.”
“For sure we have to continue to improve and understand why the first half we lost a bit of confidence with the ball. We need to improve,” Conte added.
The decision to bench Heung-min Son was not one taken lightly by Conte, but it ultimately proved to be fruitful. Conte however, insists the change was made purely to give players a rest.
“We have had a lot of games in a row, every three days. He played every game. We started with Richarlison on the bench for many games. Then Kulusevski was on the bench. Then today Son,” Conte explained.
“I was a player. Every player wants to play every game but you lose physical energy and mental energy. Sometimes you don’t understand this and think you can play but the performance goes down,” he continued.
Rotation is clearly something the players should get used to. Conte said: “This season especially up top we have players. We have Moura and Gil. Rotation is good for the team and player welfare. If you give energy and play in the way Son played, everyone is happy.”
Looking ahead, Conte offered a pragmatic response to the idea of Spurs challenging at the top: “We have to try to do our best. The Premier League is very difficult. In my opinion I think we have just started a path to fight for something important. We have just started.”
“City, Liverpool, and Chelsea have been very competitive and won a lot. Every season they fight to win competitions. In our mind and heart the ambition has to be to grow,” he added.
“When you have a massive game every three days you need a good squad. Sometimes you can rest or start on the bench and the next game you will play,” Conte concluded.
Spurs Web Opinion
A great insight from Antonio Conte there on his decisions going into the game, and it’s interesting to hear him say Son was simply rested, not dropped. Either way, it’s a huge result and a really promising second half display from Spurs. And what a perfect way to go into the international break, too. Three more points, improving the goal difference, Son back in form, and the unbeaten league run continues.
Have something to tell us about this article?