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Sun 23 October 2022, 20:45|Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte praised the players for sticking to the task as we fell to a 2-1 home loss against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

We started well and had registered 11 efforts at goal - Nick Pope denying Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane - before the visitors opened the scoring on 30 minutes. Callum Wilson challenged Hugo Lloris outside the box, Hugo went down, Wilson clipped the ball into the empty net and after a VAR review, the goal stood.

In-form Toon - now seven unbeaten, one league defeat all season - soon doubled their through Miguel Almiron nine minutes later to leave us with a mountain to climb in the second half.

It looked on when we reduced the deficit on 53 minutes when Harry stooped to head home from Sonny’s corner, however, we couldn’t find an equaliser as Ivan Perisic, Sonny and Eric Dier all went close. Newcastle held on for 2-1, ending our sequence of 10 home wins in all competitions - this was our first loss here in N17 since April.

The second goal could kill everybody, but I have to be happy with the reaction of my players for what they showed in the second half

Antonio Conte

Speaking to SPURSPLAY, Antonio reflected: “There is big disappointment because against United, I think we deserved to lose, after the game I said they deserved to win because they played better than us.

“Today, I think we started very well, Newcastle’s goalkeeper made two amazing saves and we created situations to score, to go ahead. Instead, with a long ball, it happened that we conceded a goal.

“We started very well, we were playing well and creating situations to score but when we conceded, the confidence, for sure, went down a little. Also, because we conceded the second goal after a few minutes. This second goal could kill everybody, but I have to be happy with the reaction of my players for what they showed in the second half.

“In this type of game, you risk losing your mind, you head and don’t be a team. Instead, we continued to be a team and tried to put a lot of pressure, tried to level the game but, in the end, we didn’t do it.”

Antonio then explained why Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cristian Romero missed out – neither were named in the matchday squad.

He said: “At this moment, we are struggling because we have injuries, players are recovering from injuries like Oliver Skipp, today, he played and his last game was in January, his performance was good. Also, Lucas Moura is recovering from an injury in his tendon, and you have to give time and to go step by step to bring him back to the best physical condition.

“Then, we have Richarlison, Kulusevski, Hojbjerg and Romero to check. After the game against United, for sure, fatigue, Pierre has played every game, the same for Cuti. Now, we’ll see. Richy and Deki are not available (for Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Wednesday night), the other two, we have to check and not take a risk, because we have other games to continue to play.”

Antonio on SPURSPLAY