Cristian Stellini has urged Tottenham Hotspur to change one specific aspect of their mindset after suffering another setback at the hands of Bournemouth.
Tottenham were stunned by Bournemouth on Saturday in a 3-2 defeat. Son Heung-min had put Spurs ahead before Matias Vina equalised for the visitors. In the second half, Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth 2-1 up.
Arnaut Danjuma thought he had rescued a point for Spurs when equalising in the 88th minute. Then, Richarlison – who had earlier seen a goal disallowed – missed a big chance to win it for Stellini’s side. However, Dango Ouattara responded with a winner for Bournemouth in stoppage time instead.
It came as a massive setback to Spurs, who remain fifth in the Premier League table. Bournemouth, meanwhile, earned a crucial three points in the battle against relegation.
For Tottenham’s interim manager Stellini, Spurs gave away goals too easily and should have been focusing on building their lead instead anyway.
Stellini said on Match of the Day: “It is a really tough day today because we didn’t achieve what we want. We gave everything on the pitch and I think everyone understands this.
“But we allowed them to score the first two goals too easily. Too easy, too easy. It is difficult then when you are one goal down. You have to be strong in this moment to create a unit and have our fans with us.
Stellini rues Richarlison miss
“In the second half we tried to push and we were so close to scoring. After the second goal, Richarlison heads the ball to win the game.
“If Richarlison scores that opportunity we are probably here to enjoy a moment. But now we do not enjoy because we allowed them to score three goals.
“I think we play very good in the first half, the first 20 minutes. We scored but then from scoring to conceding their second goal I am not happy with the performance.
“When you score one, the mindset has to be to score again. We didn’t do this. It is important for me that they understand why you try to score one more rather than conceded chances.”
To illustrate Stellini’s point, the last time Tottenham had a two-goal lead in any game was against Southampton in March. Even then, that ended in disappointment as the opponents claimed a 3-3 draw, effectively ending Antonio Conte’s reign as head coach.
It is up to Stellini to change Tottenham’s fortunes between now and the end of the season, as they risk dropping out of the race for Champions League qualification.