Antonio Conte says his system is ‘starting to work’ after Tottenham thrash Leeds

Posted Sunday, February 27, 2022 by PA

Antonio Conte says his system is ‘starting to work’ after Tottenham thrash Leeds

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said his side laid down a marker in the 4-0 romp over Leeds where Harry Kane and Son Heung-min made Premier League history.

The pair combined for the 37th time when Kane superbly assisted Son’s late strike, moving clear of Chelsea pair Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

It was a fitting end to a comprehensive win for Antonio Conte’s side, who laid the foundation with three goals in the opening 27 minutes as Matt Doherty, Dejan Kulusevski and Kane got on the scoresheet.

Antonio Conte says his system is ‘starting to work’ after Tottenham thrash Leeds
Son Heung-min (left) celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring Tottenham’s final goal in a 4-0 win at Leeds (Zac Goodwin/PA Images).

Spurs’ produced an impressive response to Conte’s midweek rant, where the Italian cast doubt over his future after a 1-0 loss at Burnley by suggesting he was not “good enough” to fix his side’s problems, and the boss wants this performance to be the standard.

“For the first time I have seen my mark about this system, to create with the wing-back and the other wing back to score. This is a mark of my system, my formation,” he said.

“This is the first time. It means the work is starting to work.

“It was a good performance for us in a very difficult stadium against a strong team that is very difficult to play against.

“I think we’re doing a great job in these four months because many, many situations have changed at the club, at the training ground, with the players.

“But for sure I am a person that my demanding is very high because when you want to be competitive, you want to win, your demanding has to be very high to improve players in many aspects.

“Sometimes I use soft words, sometimes I use strong words but with only one target to improve, to improve in many aspects.

“I think this group of players every day show me great commitment but they know this is not enough.

“We have to continue to improve in many aspects. Today I have seen great desire, great compactness, great will to fight together in every zone of the pitch. This has to be a starting point for us and not only an episodic game.”

Kane was the composer to Tottenham’s display, scoring a sublime first-half goal and then creating Son’s strike with a fine pass.

Antonio Conte says his system is ‘starting to work’ after Tottenham thrash Leeds
Harry Kane (left) celebrates with Ryan Sessegnon after scoring his side’s third goal in a 4-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road (Zac Goodwin/PA Images).

Conte described the England captain’s performance as “incredible” and a source of inspiration for his team-mates.

“Harry’s performance today was incredible, with the ball,” he said. “But I want to underline without the ball. Many times I have seen him to run and follow the defenders to tackle and win the ball.

“When you have your best player doing this on the pitch it is a fantastic example for the other players.”

The defeat continued Leeds’ descent towards relegation trouble and there is now focus on Marcelo Bielsa’s position.

They have conceded 20 goals in their last five games, including 14 in the last three, and they look a shambles in defence.

Bielsa answered “of course” when he was asked whether he believed he could arrest the slide and says his side still have confidence in him.

Antonio Conte says his system is ‘starting to work’ after Tottenham thrash Leeds
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is under pressure after another defeat and 20 goals conceded in the last five games (Zac Goodwin/PA Images).

“Of course the situation is serious and no team (that) accumulates successive defeats maintains the confidence in the coach,” he said. “But if I evaluate the effort that they are giving I feel completely backed up by what the team is trying to do, they are giving their all.

“It is not a question between the team and me. We need to impose what we are attempting and we are not managing to do it.

“It is not a justification in any way because the results continue to show the team is not stable.

“The amount of goals we have conceded has a decisive influence on the results. No team can keep progressing within the competition if they have a defensive weakness that has manifested like ours.

“It is not a problem only how we defend but the total functioning of the team.

“When I go with an offensive profile we still concede goals, when I go with a defensive profile we still concede goals.”




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