Antonio Conte admits he’s baffled by Tottenham stars’ lack of confidence as he approaches one-year anniversary

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Antonio Conte said he is still struggling to understand why his Tottenham players “lose confidence easily” after they had to come from behind to beat Bournemouth in a stirring victory on the south coast.

Conte's side recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Vitality Stadium, with Rodrigo Bentancur's stoppage-time winner capping a ferocious display in the final half-hour.

Kieffer Moore's two well-taken goals had given the Cherries a 2-0 lead inside 50 minutes, leaving Conte searching for a solution to his side's confidence problems.

“Sometimes it is difficult for me to understand why it happens some situations but I think that we started a path with this group of players,” Conte said. “In three or four days will be one year that I stay in Tottenham and I work with these group of players.

"These guys are really, really good guys, really good players but sometimes they lose the confidence easily. I think we have to try to continue to work on this aspect because sometimes it is frustrating that you try, you work a lot and try to find a solution to hurt your opponent and sometimes you see your team up and down, up and down. We have to try to find stability."

Goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies brought Spurs level with 28 minutes still to play and Conte revealed he had demanded his players take more risks at half-time.

“In the second half despite conceding the second goal, we started to play nasty, with a will and desire to hurt the opponent," he said.

“To not only move the ball and show, ‘Look, we are good and so nice’ but in an effective way.

“I ask my players after the first half to take responsibility in their decision, and when I speak about responsibility to make decision on the pitch, important decisions and not [the] easy pass.

“For us I think this is an important step that we had to do. We are working, we are in progress, we are a work in progress but at the same time there is a lot of space for improvement and we have to do this.”

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Harry Kane's stoppage-time goal in the midweek draw with Sporting CP was ruled out by the VAR for a fractional offside and Conte walked down the tunnel when Bentancur finished coolly in the top corner in the 92nd minute.

“I came back when I knew the goal was regular!” he said. “I thought in my mind and my heart I can have a heart attack because in two days to score and then have goal disallowed!

“I said I go down and then stay calm and then I wait for the decision of the referee. But for sure it was great to see the desire of my players and the reaction they had. I repeat also the nastiness they put into the pitch because I have seen in the eyes of my players the desire to win this game.

“Also when we drew 2-2 and then in our mind the only thought was to take the ball and start to play again. This reaction was really positive and I want this from my players.”