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Antonio Conte says Tottenham players have to ‘waste time’ when in pain | Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte wants his Tottenham players to use black magic to manage periods of suffering during matches. The boss, who is preparing for Sunday’s home game against Newcastle, has had time to reflect on Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Conte didn’t feel the first half was as negative as he initially thought, but he lamented that his side were unable to react after United ran past Fred in the 47th minute . He spoke of poor decision-making in possession, loose passes and “stupid” turnovers, influenced in part by the pressure of the occasion, which he said they needed to manage better.

The Italian was most interesting when discussing how to cope when the opposition turned the screw, as United did from around 20 minutes on. Spurs apparently had no solution and were beaten when Bruno Fernandes added the second in the 69th minute.

“Sometimes when you’re in pain…I was a player…you take the ball and put it outside the stadium,” Conte said. “Or if you have an injury, you stay [down]. I see many, many teams in England – they understand when they are hurting. A player stops, loses time. In this period, you breathe. Your mind becomes clear again. It is the experience.

“If you’re in a lot of pain, you have to understand that maybe it’s not the right time to keep playing from the back. Go up, with a long ball, and fight for the second ball.

Conte noted that “you can’t buy experience”. What he meant, in regards to the situation at Spurs, is that he couldn’t bring in the number of finished article stars he wanted because they’re too expensive, which means that a patient, step-by-step approach was needed. He doesn’t always seem to be the most patient person.

Adding to Conte’s frustration is the demand for his side to play seven more games in 20 days before the World Cup and injuries to Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison. Kulusevski suffered a setback in training last week and Conte fears he won’t return before the World Cup. Lucas Moura is not yet fit to start after a tendon problem.


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