´We have to stop conceding first´ – Conte frustrated as Tottenham continue to make life difficult fo

December 26, 2022


Antonio Conte knows Tottenham must tighten up at the back if they are to remain in the upper reaches of the Premier League table.

Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg scored in the space of six second-half minutes to seal a 2-2 draw against Brentford on Monday after they had fallen behind to goals from Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney.

Janelt’s goal meant Spurs have conceded the opening strike in each of their past six Premier League matches – their longest run of conceding first in the competition since April 2014 under Tim Sherwood (also six).

Indeed, they have conceded two or more goals in six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2003.

The result left them in fourth, four points clear of Manchester United, and Conte accepted they need to improve in defence if they are to secure a Champions League qualification place.

“For the people that watched the game that don’t watch Tottenham a lot it was another exciting game,” he said.

“On one side I have to be happy because of the way we played in the second half – the energy, desire and intensity, and when you play like this you create problems.

“On the other side this is now six Premier League games in a row we have conceded the first goal. It’s important to be stable for a team that wants to try to stay in a good position in the table.

“We have to find solutions to stop us conceding the first and second goals so many times.

“This is the first time in my career to concede first in so many games in a row. They showed great character but we have to start in this way.”

In the absence of Cristian Romero, who has been afforded extra time off following Argentina’s World Cup win, Conte handed a first Premier League start of the season to defender Japhet Tanganga.

However, the 23-year-old was given a torrid time by Toney and was put out of his misery in the 67th minute when Conte replaced him with Davinson Sanchez.

Asked if he would dip into the transfer market in January to strengthen his defence, Conte responded: “With central defenders we are good, we have to continue to work.

“Now we have Tanganga back, who played his first game of the season. He needs a bit of time to get into the game. I’m pleased for him to play a game today. Romero comes back to training tomorrow.

“On one side I’m a bit disappointed, and in the other we’re scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot.”

Tottenham return to action on Monday when they host Aston Villa.