Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Antonio Conte identifies aspect Tottenham ‘especially’ have to improve despite noticing upturn in resilience

Antonio Conte before a Tottenham Hotspur match

Antonio Conte thinks Tottenham Hotspur are becoming more resilient after beating Nottingham Forest, but has still identified some areas to improve.

Tottenham claimed a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest upon their visit to the City Ground on Sunday. Harry Kane scored a brace but also saw a penalty saved by Dean Henderson to miss out on a hat trick.

Still, it was a productive evening’s work for Tottenham, who have three wins and one draw from their opening four matches of the Premier League season.

Head coach Antonio Conte has high hopes for his first full season in charge of the club. Yet their process of evolution is an ongoing one.

For the Italian tactician, it was pleasing to see how Tottenham adapted in difficult surroundings. However, he believes they need to get better at how they use the ball from midfield.

Conte told Sky Sports: “The game was really tough. To play in this stadium is not easy. There is a lot of noise around the pitch.

“We suffered. They won many duels but at the same time we tried in every moment to exploit the space and create problems. In the second half I thought we did much better to control the game.

“I wanted us to move the ball and to pass more between our midfielders. In the first half we didn’t do it.

“For Nottingham Forest it was sometimes easy to put pressure on us. It is not easy to come here and get three points and it is another clean sheet for us.

“The players are improving in their resilience and also learning to suffer together and be compact. We need to continue to improve and to find the passes into the lines. At the end I am satisfied with the three points.

“I think that for sure we have to try to continue to improve and especially with the ball, to have more personality and to play. The game is sometimes different because there is a lot of pressure or a lot of noise.

“We were not surprised because I was really clear with them about [the pressure] of Nottingham Forest. Also for this reason we overcame difficult moments in the game.

Antonio Conte aiming to improve Tottenham mentality

“The training ground is one thing, then the game can bring a lot of pressure. I know sometimes you play and are calm in training sessions because you can make a mistake. So we need to improve but to come here and to get three points in this way, with another clean sheet, is another good step for my team.

“We are working in this aspect also. It is important the mentality. If you are strong mentally you survive in this type of situation. If you are weak you suffer difficult situations.

“We have to continue to work, we have been working only nine months. We try to improve the squad – we have to face several competitions, the road is long for us. The team are in front of us.

“We want to be competitive and to fight. There is only one way and that is to continue to work, to improve confidence and believe in ourselves.

“Sometimes only when you win something you get a belief and confidence because you know you are a winner. We are doing well and we have started this part. For sure it is not easy.”

Tottenham’s next commitment will be an away match back in London against West Ham on Wednesday.

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