Nuno names which player can take Tottenham to next level after cup progress

Date published: Thursday 23rd September 2021 7:21 - James Marshment

Nuno Espirito Santo, Tottenham manager during Europa Conference League Qualifying Play-Offs 2nd Leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Pacos de Ferreira

Nuno Espirito Santo insists Tottenham will further improve over the course of the season once one of their leading lights rediscovers his top form.

It’s been a topsy-turvy start for the new Spurs boss since he was announced as their permanent new manager over the summer. Indeed, three straight 1-0 wins in the Premier League offered promise. However, a 3-0 setback at Crystal Palace, followed by a home humbling by Chelsea show there is work still to do.

They have at least made progress into the Carabao Cup fourth round. A 2-2 draw at Wolves saw Spurs eventually prevail 3-2 on penalties. And the draw for the next round also pits Tottenham against Premier League opposition.

One man whose season has been slow to get going is Harry Kane. He scored only his second goal of the season at Molineux. But there are mitigating circumstances given his Euro 2020 exploits and then the saga of his failed move to Manchester City.

Kane though ultimately pledged his loyalty to Tottenham with Daniel Levy refusing to lower his £150m asking price.

Nuno though believes a 100% Kane can help Tottenham reach the next level.

And he believes there are signs he is getting there after the clash at Molineux.

He said: “He has much more to give and it’s about the game, improving and growing together.

“In terms of the squad and preparation we have players who have 65/70 sessions and we have players who have 15 sessions.

“Until we have been able to balance everything, then it will be the moment when the players will improve.”

Kane’s goal allowed Tottenham to open up a commanding 2-0 lead after Tanguy Ndombele’s opener.

But they allowed Wolves to claw their way back into the match.

“We allowed Wolves to get back into the game,” Nuno added. “We dominated, pressed, recovered balls and created so many chances to put the game to bed.

“If the atmosphere changes we go into the second half not as we wanted. We had chances but the atmosphere of Molineux is hard.

“We spent a lot of time preparing (for penalties) because it’s not luck. It’s having a goalkeeper who has the right info, the players taking the responsibility.”


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His opposite number Bruno Lage, meanwhile, was left to reflect on what might have been after their spirited figthback ultimately led to nothing.

Lage said: “At 2-0 down and we had the power and strength to continue our focus in the strategy and plan. We have that opportunity to think about it and learn something for the next game.

“It is hard to lose this game because of the way we prepared.

“The way we are creating chances and the way we are playing are the positive things from this game. But the way we are conceding chances and goals from the opposition makes me very disappointed.

“The way we concede chances is very frustrating. It is very easy chances for the opponents. We are working hard on that part but we’re still making mistakes.”

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