Antonio Conte calls for patience from Tottenham fans after booing

Antonio Conte calls for patience from Tottenham fans after they were booed off in 2-1 defeat by Newcastle… as the Spurs boss admits ‘we didn’t do enough’ and refuses to comment on the decision to award the visitors’ controversial opener

  • Antonio Conte bemoaned his side’s poor finishing in their 2-1 loss to Newcastle
  • Harry Kane scored after first half goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron 
  • Conte claimed his side cannot ‘fight for something’ when playing so frequently 

Antonio Conte grumbled about poor finishing, injury problems and the relentless fixture schedule as a second successive defeat undermined Tottenham’s fine start to the season.

It has been a damaging week for Conte’s ambitions but he refused to criticise his players, instead praising their character and desire.

‘Every single player performed,’ said the Spurs boss. ‘The attitude and effort was really strong and really big but sometimes it is not enough to avoid a loss.

Antonio Conte has bemoaned his side’s poor finishing after their 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle

‘We started really well. Before they scored, I have seen only one team. It was Tottenham and (Nick) Pope made two or three amazing saves. Maybe if we had better finishing we could score.’

Tottenham’s players thought Callum Wilson’s opener, midway through the first half, should have been ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Harry Kane’s second half header was Spurs’ only silver lining from the game

‘I don’t want to comment on the referee’s decision, but for sure we can do much better in this situation,’ said Conte, whose team are third in the Premier League after 12 games, five points behind leaders Arsenal who have played one game less.

‘Just a couple of minutes later we concede a second goal and this could kill everybody, but I am happy to see a good reaction from my players. In this situation, there’s a big risk you lose your mind, lose your head and concede lots of goals.

‘We tried to score, we scored one and tried to create chances to level. In the end we didn’t do it but in my opinion I think the draw was the most fair result.’

Conte, who was without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cristian Romero against Newcastle, as well as longer term absentees Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison, is concerned about the casualty list ahead of a vital Champions League tie against Sporting Lisbon.

Romero, he said, had been playing for the previous two or three games despite muscle fatigue in his thigh and reported a further problem in his calf after the defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday. Hojbjerg has a similar issue with fatigue in a thigh.

Conte refused to comment on the visitors’ controversial opening goal from Callum Wilson

‘Pierre has played every game, every minute and was really tired,’ said Conte. ‘Richy and Deki have no chance and I don’t know about Pierre and Cuti for Wednesday. I don’t know if they can recover from this fatigue.

‘My only worries in this moment is that we have to try to keep the fingers crossed and don’t have injuries because we are not a team with such a depth of squad to face competitions like the Premier League and Champions League.

‘This is not something against the club. Absolutely we knew this situation. I spoke with the club and at the start of this season said we need to have time and patience, and two or three transfer markets to bring this squad to be competitive in two competitions like Premier League and Champions League.’

The Italian manager believes his side are unable to compete when playing so frequently

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