Antonio Conte admitted that his first game as Tottenham manager was ‘crazy’ as he watched his side win 3-2 against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League, but the nature of it was an important step to rebuild confidence among the players.
Spurs raced into a 3-0 lead inside the first half hour against the Dutch side, but slack defending saw them concede twice before half-time and struggle just to hold onto their lead. However, they did hold on and Conte hopes that resilience will create some more belief.
“It was crazy game and usually I don’t like these types of games. It means that anything can happen. At the same time, I think that we should win…and we won,” he told BT Sport after the final whistle.
“We were winning 3-0 and then we conceded two goals that we can avoid. Then, after the red card, we were in trouble. But I think to win, suffering, is good for this team and these players. They needed to improve their confidence. I think they needed to have to work a lot.
“I’m happy because I have found a group of players that has shown me great appetite. Tonight, they wanted to win and for this reason, we won. But, for sure, we have to improve. I also think that this is a positive because in there is a lot of space for improvement in this team for every single player.”
Conte only officially took charge on Thursday morning because he and his coaching staff were waiting for visas to be signed off on to allow them to start work. He implemented a new tactical system, his tried and tested 3-4-3, but has urged patience because the players need time to adapt.
“The problem is that we need to find the time to work because in two days we have to play and then there is an international break,” the Italian explained.
Spurs face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, before most of the squad then leave to link up with their national teams for a week and a half after that.
“We have prepared for the [Vitesse] game now, but we have only one day [to prepare for the next one]. I think it will be impossible to work tomorrow with the player who played tonight. They used a lot of energy and tomorrow they have to rest,” Conte said.
“We will work with the players that didn’t play, but we need to have a bit of patience because we need to work and there are many, many aspects, tactically and physically. Also, the players have to understand what I want.
“I’m not afraid of the work because I know, in my life, that only through the work you can reach important targets.”