Tottenham manager Antonio Conte: ‘I have seen the heart of my players but for sure we can improve’

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Antonio Conte hailed his players’ "heart, passion and intensity" but was left frustrated by their poor final ball as his first League game in charge of Tottenham ended with a 0-0 draw at Everton.

Spurs failed to register a shot on target on an uneventful afternoon at Goodison Park, although Giovani Lo Celso came closest to a breakthrough by thumping the post in the final few minutes.

"We made many many mistakes in the final pass," Conte said afterwards. "If we made the final pass in the right way, we could have chances to score.

"Instead, with the last pass we made many mistakes."

The Italian was nonetheless encouraged by a solid defensive display following Thursday’s chaotic 3-2 win over Vitesse Arnhem in his first game as boss.

"Honestly, I have to be happy for different reasons and the first is that Goodison Park is not an easy place to come to play against Everton especially when we had a very intensive week," he said.

"I am talking emotionally. After we played the game Thursday, I have to be happy because I started to see some tactical situations for sure we can improve and we have a lot of space for improvement. In different situations, tactically, physically but also the mentality."

Everton were awarded a second half penalty for a Hugo Lloris trip on Richarlison but the decision was overturned by referee Chris Kavanagh, who checked his pitch-side monitor on advice from the VAR.

Conte was pleased with his side’s reaction to the incident, which sparked a sleepy Goodison Park into life.

"Today I have seen the heart of my players, the passion, the will to fight, to sacrifice," he added. "To understand that there was a moment very, very difficult – the penalty for us and to see this type of reaction make me more confident for the future.

"Sometimes you can teach the tactical arts and physical arts better but the heart, the passion, the will, the intensity, you have or not. My players are showing me we are in a good position and it is a good point to start for."

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