‘The first step to become a winner is to feel that defeat in yourself’: Antonio Conte urges his players to share his ‘anger’ after Tottenham’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United, as they prepare to face Newcastle on Sunday
- Tottenham suffered their second league loss of the season to Manchester United
- They remain third in the league table, but have a poor record against top sides
- Boss Antonio Conte said he felt ‘angry but not worried’ after the United defeat
- Spurs are next in action with a home clash against Newcastle United on Sunday
Antonio Conte’s overwhelming emotion after a defeat is anger and although he tries to control it, he does not want to banish it. Conte believes this instinctive fury is a key to his winning mentality, and is demanding his players adopt the same attitude.
‘My first reaction is not that I’m worried,’ said the Tottenham boss. ‘It’s not the frustration. My first emotion is that I’m angry.
‘I’m angry because I start every game with the hope to win. When we lose, I am angry but angry with myself not my players. We have to be clear. Then I try to use this to understand the way to improve, and avoid defeat.’
Antonio Conte said he was ‘angry but not worried’ after Tottenham’s 2-0 loss to Man United
The loss was Tottenham’s second of the season, and they remain third in the Premier League
Reflecting on Wednesday’s sobering defeat at Manchester United, Conte added: ‘I don’t like the defeat. I live badly, especially the day after. For me the day after a defeat is really, really, bad.
‘I’m trying to improve myself but on one side it could be better for my spirit and my family. On the other side I know that if I lose this anger I can lose something important to transfer the right message to my players.
‘The first step to become a winner is to feel that defeat in yourself. If my players start to understand that a defeat is different from a win, this is the first step to becoming a winner. I think my players are starting this process.’
Tottenham have taken just one point from three away games at Chelsea, Arsenal and United
The 2-0 loss was only Tottenham’s second in the Premier League season, but it extends a worrying trend because they have taken only one point from away games at three of their top four rivals, Chelsea, Arsenal and United.
Conte spoke of ‘bad decisions’ and ‘a lot of mistakes’ at Old Trafford, as well as ‘stupid balls’ and passes ‘not with great accuracy’. He feared some of his players had not coped well with the pressure of the occasion.
‘In big games when the level is high, the pressure is high,’ he said, as he prepared for the game on Sunday against Newcastle.
‘We have to try to cope with this. Sometimes when you are suffering, you have to take the ball and put it outside the stadium so you can breathe. Or if you have an injury you stay down.
‘I see many teams in England understand when they are suffering. One player stops and wastes time and in this period you breathe. Your mind becomes clear again.
‘This is experience. You cannot buy it. You can only improve by playing, facing situations and finding solutions.’