Antonio Conte was delighted with his Tottenham side after they continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 2-0 away victory over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Harry Kane opened the scoring inside five minutes with a well-taken breakaway goal before he was denied from the penalty spot midway through the second half. However, the England captain made amends nine minutes from time to seal the points for Spurs after meeting Richarlison’s cross.
Here is everything the Italian had to say after the victory.
What did you make of the performance?
“Yeah, I think we deserved to win. It was a difficult game against Nottingham Forest. It was the first time [playing against them] and I was really surprised to listen to a lot of noise around the stadium and the pitch, and the Nottingham Forest fans pushed the team a lot. But at the same time I think we were good to overcome the moments that we suffered. We suffered and stayed behind.
“I think in the second half we improved a lot because in the first half we didn’t use a lot our midfielders, and we wanted to go in one side, another side, it was easier for Forest to put pressure and to make us feel a bit insecure.
“The second half we improved a lot and we had the chances to score the second goal. We could have scored the third goal with the penalty, but honestly, I don’t think he missed it. I think it was a really good save. The keeper was incredible, the save he made. But in the end, three points, I repeat not easy to come here and get three points against Nottingham Forest.”
What have you seen from Harry Kane in your nine months working with him?
“You know the importance of this player for us. Harry has to be into the pitch our point of reference at every moment. He has to be the leader for this team, and I think he’s working very well. He’s totally involved in this project, and I am really happy for him.
“But we have to continue because Harry has to know very well that for us, for me, the teammates, the staff, he’s always the point of reference. And so for him in this form for sure makes us stronger and to be more confident and to trust more. He has to continue in this way and to work. I always say what I think about him.”
What did you make of Son’s performance?
“I understood Sonny is a really sensible player. He’s really sensible and a top man, a really good guy. If I am to make an example, I have to find a husband for my daughter I’d like to be a person like him. You understand? Sometimes is good but at the same time I think so much sensible.
“In this moment maybe he’s suffering a lot that he’s not scoring. But he has to continue in this way and trust himself because in every game he has the opportunity, the chance to score and then he has to be calm. We trust him and his teammates.
“You know very well the importance of this player with Harry Kane and, for sure, he’s a bit disappointed that he’s not scoring, but it’s no problem. For me, Sonny will always be a nut in my team, in my ambition of football.”
Should Steve Cook have seen a red card for the handball?
“You know very well that I don’t like to comment on the referee’s decision or the VAR. I didn’t do it in the past and I want to continue this way. The referee has to make the best decision, the VAR has to try to help make the best decision. If they have seen in this way it is OK. I don’t like to comment.”
Is Richarlison now pushing to start against West Ham?
“I was very clear with my players and now we have three days to recover before the game against West Ham. And then after Wednesday night, we are going to play Saturday. I think we are the only team in the top six to play three games in six days.
“I don’t want to complain as I’ve said in the past I don’t want to complain. But I think this time we were unlucky and I hope the next time someone else will be unlucky like us and not always Tottenham. I want to underline this.”
Was Richarlison being disrespectful by doing keepy-uppies?
“At that moment I was with the bench because I was making another substitution. I think he juggled with the ball. It is a game and you are under pressure. I repeat it is OK. I don’t think Richy wanted to show disrespect to Nottingham Forest.
“Forest are a really good team with a great history in football and we have great respect for them. Richy for sure thinks in the same way. It was not disrespectful to anyone and I can tell you this.”