Football: Conte says Spurs need to 'manage' games better

Southampton's Che Adams scores their third goal past Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Tottenham Hotspur must find a way to manage games better after conceding two late goals in the Premier League defeat by Southampton earlier this week, manager Antonio Conte said on Friday (Feb 11).

Spurs led twice against Southampton in midweek but were made to pay for their defensive frailties as they succumbed to a 3-2 loss at home, which left them in seventh place with 36 points after 21 games.

"During the game there are different phases... you need to have experience to manage, to understand when you have to risk something more, when you have to keep the result in the best possible way," Conte told reporters ahead of Sunday's home fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"After we scored, every time we quickly conceded a chance to our opponent. When you score, it's the moment to be strong, be compact, don't lose patience, don't lose focus. (But) we've just started. This process will be long."

Midfielders Eric Dier and Oliver Skipp as well as defender Japhet Tanganga continue to remain sidelined due to injury, but new signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur could start against Wolves.

Conte added that it was a risk to play forward Son Heung-min and centre back Cristian Romero for the third time in a week following their return from injury, but admitted that he had little choice given their depleted squad.

"Yeah but we need them. They're important players for us, especially at the back. Dier at this moment is out and Romero has to play," said the Italian.

"Sonny we need up front... I think I'm not telling you a stupid thing that these are important players. They will play."

A win for eighth-placed Wolves will see them leapfrog Spurs in the table, but the London side will have games in hand.

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