Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte believes supporters were justified in booing his players off the field at halftime against Leeds United, as the hosts rallied to win their first Premier League match under the Italian manager.
Spurs fell behind to Daniel James’ first Leeds goal soon before half-time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and home supporters vented their frustration at what was a poor first-half display in Conte’s first home Premier League encounter.
However, second-half goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon, along with a much stronger performance from Spurs after the break, earned Conte’s team a vital three points.
“Our fans were not satisfied with the football that we played and I agreed with them,” Conte said in his post-match news conference.
“Leeds play with high intensity and we struggled a lot. They played better than us. They won tackles and we conceded possession too easily.
“In the second half we changed the plan tactically and we started to put pressure [on Leeds]. We created chances, we could have scored more goals. It’s an important win.
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“I’m pleased for the players because I changed the plan and they played with personality. To win in this way is good.”
“We want to make our fans proud,” Conte added. “They were disappointed — it was the same for me and the players.
“To have this reaction shows we have character, heart, passion. Now we have to continue to improve. The most important word is work, and to make our fans proud.”
Spurs got to within four points of fourth place and the Champions League positions, following the weekend defeats of West Ham, Arsenal, and Manchester United.