Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte praises Spurs for not 'losing their minds' in Newcastle comeback

Sean Walsh
Conte's Spurs were impressive on Sunday
Conte's Spurs were impressive on Sunday / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages
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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has admitted that his players may have previously 'lost their minds' when trying to come from behind to win, but hailed their response in Sunday's 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle.

Fabian Schar gave the Magpies the lead on the stroke of half time with a well-taken free-kick, but Spurs immediately equalised through a Ben Davies header.

After the break, Tottenham blitzed Newcastle time and time again, with Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal and Steven Bergwijn getting on the scoresheet.

The likes of Harry Kane, Cristian Romero and Dejan Kulusevski were also hugely impressive in the rout, and Conte praised how his players responded to going a goal down.

"This league is very difficult to try to be in the race for the Champions League. We want to stay there until the end. We have to try to continue to play this way with intensity, accuracy. My team is improving in many aspects," he told BBC Sport.

"I’m very happy. I was happy before the international break. I said it was a pity we had to stop. I asked my players today to start in the same way we left. It was a good performance. Newcastle are a good team. They’ve changed totally now. Tactically, they are very good. It wasn’t easy, we made the game easy.

"The first half we tried to be in control of the game. It was hard to find space. It was good to go 1-0 down because I’ve seen the right reaction of the players.

"In the past maybe when in difficulty you could lose your mind. Instead the team were very focused and a lot of positive things I’ve seen today."

Tottenham moved into fourth place on goal difference with Sunday's win, though rivals Arsenal have two games in hand, starting with a trip to Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Spurs still have to face the Gunners in a rearranged north London derby, and the result could have huge ramifications on which side qualifies for the Champions League.

"We know we have eight final games. Arsenal has a good advantage. We have to try to stay in the race and give our best, to make our fans happy. Our fans enjoy watching the team playing this way, scoring so many goals. At the end of the season not to regret. If we give everything, then we’ll see what we can reach," Conte added.

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