Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg takes boos as ‘a compliment’: ‘The fans have great expectations’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Antonio Conte celebrate following Tottenham’s comeback win over Leeds  (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Antonio Conte celebrate following Tottenham’s comeback win over Leeds (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg says he takes the half-time boos as a compliment after Antonio Conte earned his first win as Tottenham head coach with a stirring comeback against Leeds on Sunday.

Spurs were booed off at the interval while trailing to Dan James’ goal after a subdued first half, in which they extended their run without a shot on target to 272 minutes.

But Conte’s side rallied in the second half, with Hojbjerg equalising before Sergio Reguilon scored the winner with his first Spurs goal.

“I kind of understand [the boos],” Hojbjerg said afterwards. “I hope it won't happen again but I understand there are high demands and high pressure.

“The fans have great expectations because we're a great team, so I take that as a compliment. We're here to perform well and let the fans celebrate, which is the main thing. We did that in the second half and the fans were incredible in the second half also, so let's try to do that from the start.”

A fired-up Conte reacted wildly to the winner before demanding more support from the home crowd in a tense final few minutes. The Italian also celebrated passionately at full-time, roaring in front of the Park Lane stand and embracing each of his players.

“The reaction after the game and the second goal showed how much it means for us,” Hojbjerg added. “Technically, it wasn't a perfect game from us. A couple of mistakes. I have to say the way Leeds play is very demanding and very aggressive. They cause these individual mistakes.

“But I thought collectively we came out for the second half very aggressively, on top with a good attitude. We got the stadium with us, with fantastic support. To come back the way we did, from a character and mental point of view, I thought was very important and very strong.”

The win moved Spurs to within four points of the top four following defeats for Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham on Saturday and Conte says he is not afraid of the challenge of pushing for Champions League football this season.

Conte acknowledged that there is a gap in quality to four unnamed sides – presumably Chelsea, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs – but insists Spurs must be ready to capitalise on any slip-ups from the teams above them.

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

“For sure we want to fight to try to improve the position in the table,” he said. “I think – and I must be honest – in England the League is very, very difficult.

"Every game is very tough. You can lose points with all the teams. At this moment, there are four teams that for many reasons – because they are working with the same coaches, because they invested a lot of money – there is a gap.

“But I'm not scared about this. I trust in my players, I trust in this squad. We want to fight. We want to fight to try to stay close to the positions and fight for Champions League.

“Then if there’s one team that slips up this season, we must be there to try to do our best. I repeat: I don’t want to tell you, ‘If we finish in this position, it's good'.

“We need to improve. The club called me to improve the situation for the present but also for the future. Now I’m happy. I like to work with Tottenham because I know that here I can work in the way that I like.

“I'm sure we can improve a lot and fight to be competitive in every competition. Tottenham in my idea has to fight and be competitive in every competition this season.”

Read More

Antonio Conte gives himself and Tottenham squad a day off after Leeds win

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte: I’m not scared by the fight to qualify for the Champions League

Tottenham: Evidence the Antonio Conte effect is already taking hold of Spurs in comeback win against Leeds

Antonio Conte tells Tottenham fans he wants to ‘change everything’ after registering first league win

Tottenham player ratings vs Leeds: Lucas Moura and Sergio Reguilon impress; signs of Harry Kane’s menace

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting