Antonio's verdict on Southampton
Tue 28 December 2021, 18:15|Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte was left frustrated as Southampton’s 10 men held on for a 1-1 draw in the Premier League at St Mary's on Tuesday.
The Head Coach felt we started slowly in our final match of 2021, as James Ward-Prowse fired the home side into the lead on 25 minutes.
We responded from there, and looked in the box seat when Heung-Min Son was upended in the box by Mohammed Salisu for penalty on 39 minutes, Salisu’s second yellow card. Harry Kane did the rest from the spot to make it 1-1 at half-time with Southampton down to 10 men for the second half.
We certainly knocked and knocked – two goals disallowed, making it three chalked off in the match, Fraser Forster denied Matt Doherty, Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil – but we couldn’t find a way past Southampton’s rear guard, now dropped back into two banks of four, opposed to a more open high defensive three with 11 men in the first half.
“We have to be a bit frustrated for the final result,” reflected Antonio at St Mary’s. “We’ve played a lot, the last three games against Liverpool, West Ham and Crystal Palace and today, I tried to make rotation, but only three players, because on one hand if you have big rotation, you make the team fresher, but on the other hand, sometimes you can drop the level of the team.
“It was a pity because when we arrived at this type of situation to play against 10 men, you have to try to exploit it 100 per cent and get the three points. Today, for fatigue and other situations, we made many mistakes.
“In the first half, Southampton started very well, better than us. We have to improve in this aspect, in the mentality, why we have to take a slap before we make a reaction. This is the big job that awaits, to change the mentality and to improve in many aspects, because after we conceded the goal, we started to play. Why do we have to wait, I repeat, to take a slap, before we react?”