‘We need him’ – Nuno lauds ‘unique’ Tottenham attacker set to spark forwards surge

Tottenham manager Nuno Espírito Santo in Europa Conference League press conference

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo named a lengthy list of exciting attributes his forward ranks will now have after confirming a “unique” attacker will start in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Tottenham will face Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday evening. Nuno has used the competition as an ideal platform to blood a mix of youth players and those on the fringes of his squad alongside more established stars.

And against Vitesse, Nuno confirmed Dutch winger Steven Bergwijn will start after recovering from an ankle injury.

Spurs have been notably blunt in front of goal this season, though did put three past Newcastle at the weekend. The return of Harry Kane to the scoresheet perhaps signalled their attacking woes are coming to an end.

Bergwijn’s return will certainly help that ring true, and speaking in his pre-match press conference (via Football London), Nuno heaped fulsome praise on his returning winger.

When asked if he’d spoken to Bergwijn about facing Vitesse – a side he frequently came up against while at PSV Eindhoven – Nuno admitted: “No, I didn’t talk about that with Stevie.

“I just talk with Stevie to prepare himself because he’s returning from a tough period that he was out, and it’s a good opportunity for him to get sharper, to get faster and stronger. Because we need Stevie in our future.

“Stevie started the season very, very well. Unfortunately he got injured in the national team and since then he’s struggled again.

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“But now he’s getting back, like I said to you before, it’s about getting him fitter, stronger, faster because he’s a very talented player. Very talented player. Unique inside our squad.

“He has things that really can really help us. He’s fantastic in 1v1, offensive, he’s fast, he gives us speed. He gives us… We need Stevie. I repeat myself: we need Stevie.

“He’s going to start the game. He is going to play. He’s feeling good. So let’s play good with Stevie.”


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Nuno a beacon of calm amid early criticism

Nuno was then asked if the early season criticism he and his team received was an overreaction. Tottenham were top after three matches, but a poor run of results quickly saw them slip down to mid-table.

Spurs have rebounded well following their north London derby defeat, notching three successive wins across all competitions.

“I repeat myself over and over again: It’s up and downs,” stressed the Portuguese manager. “You’ve to realise that this is the game, this is football.

“You play against tough opponents, sometimes you don’t perform. You go through a bad period and it’s about sticking together.

“So I’m very proud of the way we came out of that situation. We kept working together, helping each other. And I feel we’re improving, getting better, playing better football. It’s all about that, playing good football.”

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