Conte says Europa Conference League is 'important' to Tottenham
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Tottenham endured arguably their worst defeat of the 21st century to Slovenian minnows NS Mura on Thursday in a 2-1 loss, to give themselves a huge mountain to climb in their Europa Conference League campaign. And Antonio Conte has claimed that he gave his side the silent treatment after the defeat, with the Italian claiming the loss was too emotional to bring up to his players.
Tottenham were expected to beat the Slovenian Liga Prva champions to prolong their stay in some form of European competition this season after last campaign’s disappointing seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.
Proceedings started badly after Tomi Horvat gave the hosts an unexpected 1-0 lead in front of a 3,500 capacity-crowd.
And when Ryan Sessegnon got himself sent off late on in the first-half, Conte’s men realised they’d have to pull themselves out of a ditch in the second half.
Harry Kane’s effort 20 minutes from time gave reprieve, and a real belief that Tottenham would go on to claim a result.
Yet a last-gasp Amadej Marosa winner has left Tottenham needing to win against table-topping Rennes if they are to progress in the competition they were expected to win.
And Conte vented his frustrations at the performance his players gave.
“Usually I prefer to not speak to them after the game, especially when the game is not good because you are too involved emotionally,” Conte said after the shock loss in Slovenia.
“After the game I think it is good to not speak to the players. We will do it tomorrow. A bad loss, I am not satisfied with what happened.
“This is the second time in a row we have finished the game with 10, against Vitesse it was the same. We risked not winning against Vitesse and today it happened again.
“I think this team is very young but at the same time we have to work and improve because the details move the final result. I did not like what happened tonight, the performance
“I must be honest and tell you that after three and a half weeks, I am starting to understand the situation. I can tell you that the situation is not simple.”
Tottenham sit on the same points as Vitesse with a slightly better goal difference than their Dutch counterparts.
But with Mura up for the Arnhem-based outfit next week, it is expected they will take all three points and sit above Conte’s men.
The Italian has won just two of his opening four games, although the loss against Mura is his first since taking over the reigns in north London.
The Lilywhites sit eighth in the Premier League after their 2-1 win against Leeds on Sunday.
And they will look to replicate their domestic form against Burnley this coming Sunday.
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