Antonio Conte tells his Tottenham team to develop a ‘nasty’ side and deploy the dark arts to win matches as they look to back up last-gasp win at Man City with three more points at Burnley
- Tottenham Hotspur make the trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Wednesday
- Antonio Conte’s side have the chance to build on 3-2 win at Manchester City
- They can squeeze up on the top four with three more points in Lancashire
- The Italian has told his players to be more ‘nasty’ and ‘feel the blood’ of rivals
Antonio Conte has told his Tottenham team to be more ‘nasty’ and make clever use of gamesmanship in order to record more results like Saturday’s win over Manchester City.
That 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium was Tottenham’s best under the Italian and they can bolster their top four ambitions with three more points at Burnley on Wednesday night.
Spurs had lost three consecutive Premier League games prior to their victory over the leaders and Conte had bemoaned his side’s poor game management.
Antonio Conte has told his Tottenham team to develop a ‘nasty’ side in order to get results
Spurs want to push on after Harry Kane scored a stoppage time winner at Manchester City
And ahead of the trip to Turf Moor he said his players have to be willing to do deploy the dark arts to get the better of opponents.
He told the Evening Standard: ‘A strong team has to become nasty. During the game, you have to feel the blood of your opponent! Sorry, but I don’t have any other words to explain it.
‘In my opinion, when you go into a game, one [team] lives and another dies. You have to be available to do everything – but in a sporting way.
‘You have to know that the game doesn’t finish with two happy teams. One team is happy, another is unhappy.
‘You have to try to be the team that finishes happy, celebrates all together and then has a good atmosphere for the rest of the week. And then continue to improve.
A delighted Conte can’t help but smile after Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 win at the Etihad
‘Don’t forget, [with] wins come wins. This is very important. We’re talking about the mentality aspect, about the right mentality, the winning mentality.
‘For sure, this aspect we’re working on and we need time and patience. But I’m happy because I know with our players, when I tell them something, what I say goes into their heads and doesn’t go in one ear and out the other.’
The win over City, off the back of Harry Kane’s header deep into stoppage time after Spurs had twice been pegged back, ensured a happy atmosphere at the training ground on Monday.
And Conte insisted the mood of the players should depend on the previous result.
Conte wants his players to do whatever it takes to get results but in a ‘sporting way’
‘The first step to change your mentality is after a loss,’ he added.
‘You have to understand that you lost a game. The atmosphere has to be different. When you lose a game and you come back to the training ground and [it’s like], ‘Ok, it’s the same like yesterday’. But yesterday you lost!
‘If we start to change the atmosphere, you understand that atmosphere also depends on the win or the defeat – I think this is the first step to improving your mentality, to starting to be a winner.
‘Because when you know that the atmosphere is different, you try during the game to do everything to have a good atmosphere the day after, or the two days after.’