Dejan Kulusevski predicts ‘fantastic’ Tottenham to come back stronger after World Cup break

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Dejan Kulusevski is confident Tottenham will be far better in the second half of the campaign and believes they have a "fantastic opportunity" to kick-on after the World Cup.

Spurs went into the six-week break with a chaotic 4-3 win over Leeds on Saturday, which featured many of the themes of their first half to the season.

For the eighth straight match, they fell behind and trailed 2-1 at the interval but displayed remarkable powers of recovery to equalise three times, with Rodrigo Bentancur scoring twice in as many minutes to clinch a dramatic late win.

Despite largely underwhelming performances and a concerning habit of sluggish first-halves, Antonio Conte’s will resume the season on Boxing Day in fourth, just three points behind Manchester City, and with a Champions League last-16 against AC Milan to look forward to in Spring.

"We have a fantastic opportunity, we just have to bring everybody together and make a plan for the second season," said Kulusevski, who was outstanding on his first start since September 17. "Because we have the Champions League with AC Milan, we are in a good position in the league, but we can do much better. We will do it.

"I believe in the team. I think we will do a lot better. We have a lot of character and a lot of talent. We have a big second season right now. We will rest. Some will play at the World Cup – all the best for them. Then we will come back, ready and better.

"Results are always more important than the performance. But I think if you are making a better performance, you have a better chance to get a better result. We can work on some things on the pitch that can get us more results. That is why we play. We want to have fun, we want to play good but the first thing is always to win.”

Harry Kane and Ben Davies were also on the scoresheet, and are among 11 Spurs players who will represent their countries in Qatar.

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris also said the side is capable of improving in the second of the half and put their inconsistent performances down to the effort of playing mid-week Champions League matches.

"It’s been very hard. We put so much energy into the group stage of the Champions League that as you could see in the last few games of the Premier League we lacked a bit of aggressiveness and intensity," Lloris said. "We were a bit passive, always reactive. For sure there are many, many reasons. We are capable of playing at a better level and playing 90, 95 minutes at the same level. At the moment it’s a lot of up and down.

"The guys gave their best, that’s the most important thing. We reached the next round of the Champions League, that was the main target, and we are still in a top four place. That’s the positive. The second part of the season will obviously be different and for sure we will have more energy to finish stronger and be more consistent in our performances."