Antonio Conte acknowledges vital Harry Kane role; hails Tottenham’s ‘never give up’ attitude against Leeds

Antonio Conte, Tottenham, November 2022 Credit: Alamy
Antonio Conte, Tottenham, November 2022 Credit: Alamy

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte hailed his players for how they “never” gave up in a frenetic game against Leeds, as well as acknowledging the importance of Harry Kane.

Spurs’ form coming in to this match had left a lot to be desired. Of their last seven games in all competitions, they had managed a win in just two.

Their last league game saw them defeated 2-1 by struggling Liverpool. In their last game in all competitions, Conte’s side suffered a 2-0 loss to Nottingham Forest.

Furthermore, they were faced by a Leeds United side that had won both of their last two league games, both through late winners.

The Whites took an early lead through in-form Crysencio Summerville in the 10th minute.

That would be the first of three times the Elland Road outfit got themselves in front. However, each time, Spurs were able to hit back.

The first time though Harry Kane, then Ben Davies, then Rodrigo Bentancur. The game was perfectly poised going into the final stages, as Spurs’ third goal came in the 81st minute.

They were able to have the last laugh, as Bentancur struck with seven minutes of normal time remaining. Things finished at 4-3, allowing Spurs to leapfrog Newcastle United for the time being.

Conte happy with Spurs grit

Coming back from behind three times in one game shows Tottenham‘s efforts to stay in the game. The manager hailed them for not giving up, and coming back to win, as they have done often this season.

“In a lot of games we were losing and then we came back,” he told football.london.

“I think we showed great character, desire and great will not to give up, to believe in the win.

“I try every day to transfer this concept. We need to fight and never give up. Never give up is our mantra. This is the positive side.”

Conte also felt Spurs fans would be happy with the result the side managed to achieve.

“I think this game made many, many people very happy. I think if you’re in the stadium you’ve seen a 4-3 score, with attractive football. It’s fun,” he added.

Kane influence hailed

Conte also hailed Kane for the influence he has had on the side so far this season. His goal today was his 12th so far this season; he is six goals shy of Premier League top goalscorer Erling Haaland.

“I have to be honest, in this period Harry played a really important role,” Conte said.

“If we finished this period in the top four and qualified for the top four, I think we have to praise Harry a lot because we have had many injuries at the front.

“I think Harry honestly deserves great praise because he is always an important player but in this period there was a lot of weight on his shoulders and he played in a great way.”

The Tottenham boss thinks the World Cup has come at the right time for his side’s talisman.

“He’s arriving at the World Cup with plenty of enthusiasm, in a great physical condition and he’s mentally stronger. I think he’s ready and I can see it in his eyes, he’s ready to be the protagonist,” he added.

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