Premier League: Antonio Conte sees positives in stalemate
New Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte praised his team’s fighting qualities after a scrappy 0-0 draw away to Everton in his first Premier League game at the helm on Sunday.
The Italian was a typically animated presence throughout on the Goodison Park touchline, berating and praising his players in equal measure. And while Tottenham lacked quality, they did at least manage a first league clean sheet since August.
“Today (Sunday) I have seen the heart of my players, the passion, the will to fight, the will to sacrifice, the will to understand that there was a moment very, very difficult for us and to see this type of reaction makes me more confident for the future,” the Italian told reporters.
“Sometimes you can teach our players the tactical aspects and improve your players’ physical aspects but the heart, the passion, the will, the intensity, you have or not.
“My players are showing me these aspects and that we are in a good position and it is a good point to start for me.”
Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo, who was sacked after last weekend’s meek 0-3 home defeat by Manchester United. He said the negative aspect was his side’s lack of goal threat.
“I think if I have to see a negative aspect in this game, I think we made many, many mistakes in the final pass because we had chances,” Conte said. “If we made the final pass in the right way, we could have chances to score. Instead, we made many mistakes.”
Tottenham suffered a scare just past the hour mark when Hugo Lloris was adjudged to have fouled Everton’s Richarlison in the box to concede a penalty but referee Chris Kavanagh revised his decision after a VAR check.
Conte and his opposite number Rafa Benitez had opposing views on the incident.