Conte admits to possible ‘mistake’ after starting others over Spurs star

Antonio Conte admits that he could be making a “mistake” by playing other players over Spurs defender Joe Rodon after back-to-back home defeats.

Tottenham saw their hopes of a top-four finish suffer a huge blow with a 2-0 home defeat to Wolves, who overtook them in the table after scoring two goals inside the first 20 minutes.

The visitors’ win, courtesy of goals from Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker, enhanced their own chances of Champions League qualification.

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It was a third straight Premier League loss for Spurs, hot on the heels of Wednesday’s 3-2 reverse to Southampton and the result left Conte pondering changes.

Rodon is yet to start a Premier League fixture this term with just eight appearances in all competitions but Conte hinted that he could be making an error by not picking him.

When asked about Rodon’s first-team chances, Conte said: “Joe we are talking about a really good guy.

“We are talking about a person whose commitment is very high every day. But in this moment maybe I make mistakes to pick different players maybe.

“Maybe. My evaluation is to try to put on the pitch the best players at the moment.

“If I didn’t do this then maybe I did different considerations.”

#Tottenham’s Premier League results this season with and without Oliver Skipp starting:

10 wins
1 draw
3 losses

1 win
2 draws
5 losses

— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) February 13, 2022

And Spurs boss Conte again spelt out just how far his side are from challenging at the top end of the Premier League.

“The problem is that you cannot buy the winning mentality,” Conte said. “You transfer it day by day and (you are) not sure that (it is) day by day, because there are players that are more open and they understand the process quickly, other players need more time to understand this.

“Winning mentality in my opinion means when you play, (thinking) ‘I am ready to kill you and to live’. This is the difference in every duel, every second ball, every set-piece.

“When you show better desire than your opponent, when you understand the defeats have to hurt you a lot, not a little… This is not simple.

“The confidence and pressure is part of our job – the pressure for me, the pressure for the players.

“I think this type of situation is part of our job. If you remember, when I spoke about improving many aspects, it wasn’t only today after two defeats in a row at home I tell you a different situation.

“I continue to tell the same things. There is a long road, a long path in front of us. Long. It’s important for us not to be scared to face this path.

“For sure there are many aspects to improve. It’s difficult today to speak about the game because for me in my opinion the game was good, the performance was also good.

“We created many chances against a team with the second best defence after Man City. Despite this we created many chances to score, we had the possession.

“But we are talking about a 2-0 defeat against Wolverhampton and for sure we have to improve and to live with a lack of confidence.

“Because it can happen. We have to be good to live with the pressure. Otherwise it will be difficult.”


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