Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Souness shuts down Conte critics, with Tottenham win over Brighton proving two major signs of progress

Antonio Conte, October 2022

Graeme Souness has claimed that Tottenham proved their new-found ability under Antonio Conte to grind out wins with the victory over Brighton.

Spurs got back on track after recent criticism with a 1-0 triumph over the Seagulls away from home. Harry Kane got the winner as Spurs paid tribute to their late fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone.

Tottenham came into the match after a run of only two wins in four games. They had previously enjoyed an unbeaten run, but Sporting and Arsenal brought that to a halt.

Consequently, the consensus from many observers was that Tottenham’s problems – which they had been papering over – had been exposed.

According to former midfielder Souness, though, Tottenham showed once more their resilience against Brighton.

He added that Conte makes the Spurs team “quite different” to how the group had played under previous managers.

“I think he [Conte] will be delighted with today,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“You know I have lived and worked and played in Italy their mentality is quite different to ours and he will see digging a result out today as a really good week’s work after a death of one of their group.

“They showed a bit of steel again, this is why they are quite different under this manager. He is a manager that you will fall out with, he is a manager that pushes the players all the way to the line and I think he gets the most out of players.

“I think he is a great man for that job and I think Spurs can be feisty now and dig in to get results.”

Tottenham won’t change overnight – Souness

On the flipside, Souness insisted that Tottenham remain a work in progress – despite showing an overall upward trend in form since since Conte took over.

“I think Spurs are going in the right direction. I think they’ve got a fabulous manager, and the supporters have to be patient. He’s been there a year,” Souness said.

“You’re not going to change Spurs from whatever they were before into a team that Spurs supporters are dreaming about having.

“That isn’t going to happen in a year. Be patient. You’ve got the right man in charge and with the correct support, he’ll do very well at Spurs.”

Tottenham return to action on Wednesday when playing Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

Spurs picked up a 0-0 draw away from home against the German side.

Spurs need to take spirit from victory

Tottenham faced significant criticism for their recent form over how it has tested Conte’s faith and resilience.

However, he proved again on Saturday that he is one of the masters at grinding out a result when it matters.

Brighton have been in brilliant form, scoring three at Anfield against Liverpool before facing Spurs.

And manager Roberto de Zerbi would therefore have fancied his chances against Tottenham.

But, it wasn’t to be as Conte claimed a big win to get the visitors back on track.

Tottenham will expect to play much better against Frankfurt on Wednesday. They had chances to score in the away tie and will hope their home fans can inspire a better performance this time around.

READ MORE: Antonio Conte reveals tactical tweaks behind Brighton triumph after ‘difficult to understand’ week at Tottenham