Antonio Conte believes Tottenham “needed this type of performance” as they won for the first time in three matches by thumping Crystal Palace 4-0.
Spurs headed into Wednesday’s match on the back of a 2-2 draw with Brentford and a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, with questions over Conte’s future surfacing after he seemed to publicly question the direction of the club.
But a Harry Kane double and goals from Matt Doherty and Son Heung-min gave Spurs an emphatic victory at Selhurst Park, putting them within two points of the Premier League’s top four.
Conte was relieved after the match to end their winless run and pick up three valuable points, telling reporters: “There are moments when you need this type of performance.
“It was important. Three points, [we] don’t concede a goal. It wasn’t easy. To play against Crystal Palace away is not easy. They beat us last season 3-0 [at Selhurst Park]. [It is] a really difficult pitch to play.
“I have many things to be happy about, especially for the young players. We are facing a difficult situation with injured players, especially. To see that you can count on them makes me happy. Also it’s important because we can create competition.”
34 – Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have now both scored in 34 different Premier League games together, overtaking Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as the most of any duo in the competition. Partners.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
Kane’s brace moved him to 264 goals for Spurs, within two of tying Jimmy Greaves as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Conte pointed out the striker’s leadership as one of his best attributes, saying: “We are talking about a really world-class striker and he’s going to beat that record with the goals.
“For us he’s an important point of reference. Especially in the moments you know Harry is there ready to fight and solve the situation with goals and assists.
“We have to continue in this way and face every situation, negative and positive, with great character.
“I hope that soon we can have the whole squad available and that will be very important to face Arsenal and Manchester City with all our players and then we can see our true level.”
Bryan Gil impressed against Palace in what was just his third Premier League appearance this season, having come under fire for a below-par display against Villa.
“This league is so difficult. Quality, you have to be fast and have endurance. He has that and also you have to be strong physically. Gil since last season has improved on that aspect.”