‘My expectation’ – Conte demands Tottenham star makes standout moment a habit

Samuel Bannister
Antonio Conte managing Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte wants to see one of his Tottenham players replicating what he did in their win over Norwich City more often, while he compared another to someone he got the best out of in a previous job with Chelsea.

For the second time in the space of a few days, Conte saw his side win and keep a clean sheet against a promoted side. Following the midweek win over Brentford, this time Spurs defeated Norwich 3-0.

Despite the smaller stature of opponent, it was another step in the right direction as Conte seeks to prove that a recent Europa Conference League loss to NS Mura was just a blip.

Goals from Lucas Moura, Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min were decisive as Spurs earned back-to-back wins for the first time since Conte took charge.

The recently appointed coach had words of advice for the former during his post-match press conference. Taking encouragement from his goal, Conte told Lucas he must contribute in that manner more often.

The manager said: “I think he scored an amazing goal but he has the quality to score more goals and he has to score more goals in the rest of the season.

“We need this type of situation. He’s very good, I think in front we have great quality with important strikers.

“Lucas has great quality and surely my expectation is to see much more goals like this, but good performance with and without the ball.”

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Meanwhile, in defence, Conte praised the performance of Ben Davies on the left of the back three.

After establishing himself as a full-back, the Wales international has shown the ability to play slightly more centrally. It has led Conte to compare him to Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, whom he used similarly at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte can get best out of Ben Davies

Conte explained: “Ben is playing very well and I think that that role specifically, I can get out the best of him.

“And it happens the same with (Cesar) Azpilicueta and I think the three central defenders, it’s important to be good defensively. But at the same time, for me it’s important to play football, have personality and play the ball.

“Also when you find a team that’s defending very low, it’s very important in this system. I need players with personality to play the ball and also to be offensive.

“Ben is one of these players, he shows great solidity and plays well defensively. I’m happy for him. We are talking about a really good person, a good guy. He’s always really focused and concentrated. He played well.”

In the wing-back role on Davies’ side, Spurs started with Sergio Reguilon. However, the Spaniard had to go off with an injury just 22 minutes in.

Conte was able to confirm that it shouldn’t be anything too serious. In the meantime, though, he was happy enough with how Ryan Sessegnon performed when replacing his colleague.

Encouragement given to Ryan Sessegnon

The Italian tactician said: “On one hand I was a bit disappointed for Sergio, for the injury, but I spoke with him and we don’t think it’s a bad injury.

“On one hand I was disappointed to make the substitution. On the other hand this type of situation gives you the opportunity to see in the remainder of the game, 20 minutes from the start, Sessegnon came in and I think he played a good game.

Ryan Sessegnon in action for Tottenham Hotspur

“I’m sure that he can do much better and he has quality. He has quality as a player with great power, he’s strong physically and he needs to take confidence.

“He needs to take confidence from the atmosphere and the stadium. Sess is a young player but if you stay in the Tottenham squad it means that you deserve to be here and you have to deserve this. He played a good game but he has to improve, like the other players.

“Today, at the end, I’m pleased because I’ve seen him for 75 minutes and he played a good game, but I know he can do much better. He has the quality physically and technically.”

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