Nuno’s verdict on Stade Rennais
Thu 16 September 2021, 20:59|Tottenham Hotspur
Nuno Espirito Santo must have felt a touch of deja vu on our way to a hard-earned point against Stade Rennais as our UEFA Europa Conference League Group J opener finished 2-2 on Thursday evening.
Just days after seeing Eric Dier trudge off injured inside 15 minutes at Palace in the Premier League, two more players saw their night end early in Rennes. This time, Steven Bergwijn, just back from an injury sustained on international duty, limped off after 30 minutes, followed by Lucas Moura, who departed on 54 minutes after a challenge from Flavien Tait.
Nuno had to change things around and the lively home side forged ahead on 72 minutes when Pierluigi Gollini’s save from Kamaldeen Sulemana rolled into the path of Gaetan Laborde, who tapped home.
Trailing 2-1, with two forced reshuffles and Harry Kane replaced by Dane Scarlett, we dug deep and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who had already gone close with a volley, was there again when Matt Doherty’s cross was deflected into his path by Tait, and he provided a cool finish from close range to make it 2-2 four minutes later.
“Again, many obstacles,” said Nuno at Roazhon Park. “It’s not good, not good. I’m worried, naturally. I should not share that with you, this is not the moment, but just to be honest. I think the boys did well, because it’s tough, these things coming and we keep trying to find solutions.
“The guys did everything. It was a tough match. I think we started really well, played well, then second balls, something we have to improve... we have a lot of things to improve but the attitude was correct.
“We controlled the game until the end of the match with players in different positions. That was hard. In that moment, it was huge for us.”
Asked if he felt things were conspiring against us somewhat, Nuno added: “Let’s not mention these things. Let’s focus on what we have to do, but it’s been hard.”
Nuno later stated at his post-match press conference that it was too early to say whether or not Lucas and Steven would be ready to face Chelsea back in Premier League action on Sunday.