Cristian Stellini admits Tottenham must snap ‘routine’ as Spurs assistant gives Heung-min Son injury update

Familiar tale: Cristian Stellini warned Tottenham about their first-half displays  (Getty Images)
Familiar tale: Cristian Stellini warned Tottenham about their first-half displays (Getty Images)

Tottenham assistant Cristian Stellini admitted Spurs have to find a way to produce more complete performances after they edged past Marseille to seal progression to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Another woeful first-half display saw Tottenham go into the break behind after Chancel Mbemba’s header and heading out of the competition, following a familiar pattern of the team starting slowly and conceding the opening goal.

Once again Spurs improved in the second half and drew level through Clement Lenglet, before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored with the final kick of the match to seal top spot in Group D and, most likely, a more favourable draw.

Stellini, taking charge in the absence of Antonio Conte who had to watch on from the stands after his red card against Sporting, was frustrated with the slow start, even if Spurs eventually turned it around.

“We repeat the same routine, we did not start well,” Stellini told BT Sport.

“We did not have any intensity, letting them play too much in our half. We changed in the second half and had more control. We played a good second half. We have to show it for 90 minutes. We have to work to show again for the whole game and not to lose one half every game.”

While Conte appeared to be in a largely calm mood whenever the camera cut to him, aside from his celebrations after Hojbjerg’s winner, it’s no surprise to hear the Italian is unlikely to be opting to sit in the stands in future.

“I have spoken to Antonio and he was very tired because he lived the game in the crowd and it is not normal,” Stellini said. “He spent more energy in the crowd.”

Tottenham’s first-half woes were added to when Heung-min Son was forced off with a head injury after he collided with Mbemba, looking incredibly groggy as he was helped off the pitch.

Due to the Premier League’s concussion rules, requiring players to sit out for six days, Son’s participation against Liverpool this weekend could be in doubt.

“In this moment we don’t know, we have to wait for a medical assessment, we wait for tomorrow,” Stellini said.

“I saw him in the dressing room so he celebrated with the squad as well. We wait until tomorrow.”