Antonio’s verdict on Rangers: “We have to continue in this way”
Sat 23 July 2022, 23:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte declared himself ‘delighted’ with the performance, the team’s intensity and how we recovered to beat Rangers 2-1 at Ibrox on Saturday.
Five players made their debuts in the second half - Yves Bissouma, Fraser Forster, Clement Lenglet, Ivan Perisic and Djed Spence - as we came from 1-0 down at half-time to secure the win and lift the Walter Tull Memorial Cup in front of over 43,000 fans in Glasgow.
Antonio Colak put Rangers 1-0 up on 24 minutes, although we created a host of chances both before and after that to change the complexion of the game by half-time. We went in 1-0 down, but our intensity upped another notch at the start of the second half and two goals in six minutes from in-form Harry Kane (50, 56) turned it around - Harry’s fourth and fifth goals in our three pre-season matches so far.
Most impressive though was the intensity of the display against a Rangers side a week away from beginning their SPL campaign, and 10 days from a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. We have a fortnight before our big kick-off in the Premier League when we face Southampton at home on 6 August (3pm).
Speaking to SPURSPLAY at Ibrox, Antonio told us: “This game was, in my opinion, a real game, Rangers are a really good team, they fight to win the league in Scotland, they reached the final of the Europa League and in their last friendly game, they won 3-1 against West Ham. So, we have seen a good team, good quality.
“I’m delighted, because I have seen good intensity, I’ve seen many situations that we are trying in the training sessions, the pressure was good. For sure, especially in the first half, we created many, many chances to score. I understand also that we are a little tired, because we are working, but, at the same time, when you have so many chances to score, you have to try to score because you know very well if you don’t score, you risk to lose the game.
“My players know very well, every game we have to try to win, a friendly game or a game to get three points. This is very important because in this way, we work also on our mentality - every game is important.
“We are trying every day to work with this mentality, to build something important, and every game becomes important for us. It’s different with a draw, with a loss, with a win. It’s totally different. We have to start to think this, and I’m happy, because I have a group of players who want it.
“Today, I repeat, this wasn’t a friendly game, and for this reason I’m pleased because it was a good game for us, many players played more minutes than in the last game, other players came in like Lenglet, Spence. I’m satisfied because the players are working very hard and to have this type of performance is positive. We have to continue in this way.”
Next up, our final pre-season match and a trip to Israel to take on AS Roma in the I-Tech Cup next Saturday (30 July, 7.15pm) - once again, exclusively live on SPURSPLAY.