Nuno has to dig deep for Tottenham positives but backs missing stars

Date published: Wednesday 27th October 2021 10:44 - Neil Foster

Nuno Espirito Santo 2021 TEAMtalk41

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo felt team spirit was key to his side’s Carabao Cup victory over Burnley on a poor night at Turf Moor.

Spurs edged into the last eight with a 1-0 triumph courtesy of Lucas Moura’s second-half header. The Brazilian was unmarked in the box and powered his effort past Nick Pope in the Burnley goal. It was the highlight of an uninspiring game, which only really came to life in the final 20 minutes.

Harry Kane was reduced to taking shots from distance but failed to make much of an impact. The Clarets rarely threatened and their long-ball tactics of the final 15 minutes failed to reap any rewards.

The visitors were worthy winners but the Portuguese tactician struggled to pick out too many positives.

“It was a good performance. I think we played good, in control of the game,” he said. “I think better in the second half but not in finishing the actions, better in mobility and dynamic. The end of game about sticking together and defending.”

The draw for the quarter-final stakes place on Saturday but Nuno is refusing to get ahead of himself.

“We cannot look much further, we came here to come through, we did it with a good game,” he added. “Let’s wait for the draw.”

Nuno backs absent duo

Dele Alli and Harry Wins did not even make the matchday squad for Wednesday’s encounter. The duo’s future must now be called into question.

Winks blotted his copybook by speaking out over his frustration at a lack of playing time. The 25-year-old has played just 60 minutes of top-flight football in 2021-2022.

He has started all four of Spurs’ European matches this term but clearly wants more game time. Dele has started six Premier League games but his future has been the subject of many column inches.

However, Nuno played his cards close to his chest when quizzed on the pair.

“They are our players, we continue to focus on getting the best out of each of our players,” he replied. “Dele is one of those we have to try and do that.”

Harry Winks playing a pass

Spurs are next in action on Saturday when they welcome Manchester United to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Neither side is in particularly good form but the Red Devils’ 5-0 loss to Liverpool means they are under greater pressire.

READ MORE: Boost for West Ham, Tottenham as red-hot marksman refuses Turkish deal

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