Antonio Conte delights in the Spurs show and warns the new guys fighting for seats

Antonio Conte delights in the Spurs show and warns the new guys fighting for seats

Antonio Conte delights in the Spurs show and warns the new guys fighting for seats

Antonio Conte was delighted with Tottenham’s style during their 4-1 opening day win over Southampton and warned his new signings that they must fight for a place in the starting line-up.

A busy summer for Spurs, in which they brought six players, increased the optimism and excitement around the N17 ahead of kick-off, but James Ward-Prowse’s opening minute for the guests brought threatened to spoil the atmosphere.

Instead he set the hosts in motion with Dejan Kulusevski in imperious form and it was his cross that allowed Ryan Sessegnon to head the equalizer. Eric Dier scored 2-1 before half-time and Kulusevski finished the scoring with a brilliant fourth two minutes after Mohammed Salisu’s own goal.

Spurs boss Conte said: “The reaction was really good because we stayed calm, we continued to play the way we know, to believe in what we felt earlier this week before playing for Southampton.

We won three important points but the most important thing was the way we got three points, with a really good kick, with the ball, without the ball, with important pressure, also the way we decided to win the ball after we lost it was another important aspect.

“We are working to implement the knowledge of football in the last season. For sure today we saw that this team has seven months of work behind it ”.

Sessegnon finished the 2021-22 season strongly, but is competing for his place in the form of Ivan Perisic and yet faced the challenge head-on with a great effort in the 21st minute only his second goal for Spurs from a three-penny move by Fulham summers ago.

Injuries have ruined the England Under-21 international in recent seasons, but Conte believes he is ready to kick and was pleased with his goal having failed to bet during a similar situation a few minutes earlier.

“Maybe five minutes ago there was a cross and he was behind his opponent. On the bench we were really angry with him, “joked the Italian.

“After three minutes then he scored and we were happy and we celebrated a lot because five minutes before he wasn’t in the same place to score.

“Today he scored another goal, he was always in our attacking position and it was good. I’m happy for him because he has great potential but he has to show this potential.

“We are giving him stability in the physical aspect. I think it is very important that we have signed a player like Ivan because he can see the way to learn something about Ivan ”.

Perisic was one of five newcomers who had to settle for a bench seat and as the Croatian debuted as a replacement alongside Clement Lenglet and Yves Bissouma, Conte warned summer recruits that they have work to do to dislodge. the old guard.

He added: “I think I use common sense because right now we are starting the new season and the old players reached a big milestone last season to get a place in the Champions League.

“In the last 10 games I think we have played really well and we have had fantastic results. My message was very clear: I trust the old players a lot and right now they are more reliable than the new ones because they have to keep working with us and keep implementing football knowledge.

“With the old players I am one step ahead. This is why I prefer to count on the greatest at the beginning but I think it was immediately after this match and the final result.

“At the same time I’m really happy because we have new signings coming into our process and they will definitely help us improve, but they need to know they have to fight.”

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was left to reflect on a frustrating afternoon in the capital despite a good start.

“It felt a bit like the opponent had moved on to the next gear and we can’t follow him,” he said.

“It was frustrating to see how big the gap was between the two teams. After the first goal we had the feeling that they were absolutely in play and they smashed us with their crosses and we couldn’t defend ”.

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