Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Antonio Conte praises Tottenham ‘fight’ and ‘desire’ as unbeaten Prem start extends to nine games

Dan Burnham
Antonio Conte claps the Tottenham away support after their 3-2 win at Leicester

Antonio Conte praised the “fight” and “desire” of his Tottenham side as they dramatically extended his unbeaten Premier League start to nine games.

The Italian manager was facing his first league defeat with Leicester winning 2-1 with seconds left on the clock. But substitute Steven Bergwijn netted in the 95th and the 97th minutes to flip the game on its head and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Despite the last-gasp nature of the win, Conte believed it was a fully warranted result.

He told BT Sport: “A great win. I honestly think we didn’t deserve to lose the game. A draw was for me unfair.

“I think we played a good game, created many chances to score and were unlucky. But my team showed they don’t want to give up and until the end we have to fight.

“We showed great desire not to lose this game. This is a compliment for my players and team, not for me.”

It was an unlikely match-winner in Bergwijn, who has been linked to the exit door in the January transfer window.

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In what could be surprising comments for Spurs fans, Conte claimed there is no one like him in his squad.

“I spoke about Steve in the past,” he said. “For me he is an important player with a special type of characteristics. No-one else in the team has these characteristics.

“He is good technically, he beats the man, he is a striker and in good physical condition. It is an important choice for me – I can make him in the starting XI or bring him on in the game.”

Tottenham players celebrate their last-gasp winner against Leicester

Serial-winner Conte remained focused on improvement, adding: “We have to learn to control the game and understand the different moments of the game.

“Under this aspect we can improve. There are different key moments during the game and we have to understand these better.

“How to play with more velocity and move the ball quickly or keep the ball and lower the intensity. We can improve and have to improve a lot but it’s a long path. We have just started with these players and this team.

“They show me great ability and desire to improve. I know we have a lot of space for improvement.”

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Kane echoes Conte comments

It was Harry Kane who had scored Tottenham’s first goal of the game.

He echoed the comments from his manager that they felt the result was the right one over the course of the whole match.

Kane said: “What a rollercoaster of emotions that was. Overall we deserved the victory. We were the better side.

“Disappointed to go 2-1 down but we were creating the chances. We never gave up and Stevey came on and made the difference.

“To get two goals like that – thee are games you will never forget in a career.”

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