Antonio Conte tells three Tottenham Hotspur players to step up their performances
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has asked Ivan Perisic, Djed Spence, and Matt Doherty to improve their performances going into the new season.
Speaking to journalists after Spurs’ 1-0 loss against AS Roma yesterday (h/t Express), the Italian manager praised the Croatia international for his qualities. However, he asked him to do more and become the Perisic ‘that he knows’.
“…But he has to continue to work because at this moment he’s not the Ivan Perisic I know. That is normal though, but I’m happy because he reduced the time to recover from his injury.”
The 33-year-old wideman signed as a free agent this summer after running down his contract at Inter Milan. He started down the left flank with Matt Doherty being deployed as a right-wing-back.
The Republic of Ireland international did not quite impress Conte with his performance as well. Both the wing-backs were substituted later in the game but that could be due to the Italian manager not wanting to risk their fitness ahead of the Premier League opener next weekend.
“It was the same for Matthew, for Doherty. I hope to see him like last season and now he’s working and he’s struggling. We need to have patience. We need to give time for these players to be really fit.”
Conte unimpressed by Spence?
Conte wants both his starting full-backs in yesterday’s game to improve but his comments suggest that he is more concerned about their fitness rather than quality. That doesn’t seem to be the case with regards to new signing Spence.
The young English right-back was signed from Middlesbrough earlier this summer. In a bizarre move, Conte came out and claimed that Spence was more of a club signing as it wasn’t him who suggested the 21-year-old’s name.
The Englishman did not feature against I Giallorossi in any capacity on Saturday but Conte still asked him to step up his level if he wants to be a regular at Spurs. Perhaps, he isn’t quite convinced by what he has seen from Spence in training or in the Championship thus far.
“There is the new player Spence. He is a guy who has to work a lot, because to go into Tottenham it’s different in the Premier League with Tottenham but in the end I’m happy.”
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Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon are two other full-backs at Conte’s disposal. It remains to be seen who he chooses to start in the position in the game against Southampton on August 6.