Antonio Conte admitted Tottenham’s confidence was “killed” after he again conceded the first goal in their 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
The Spurs started 2023 with a second loss in their last nine games played on New Year’s Day, as second-half goals from Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz gave the visitors all three points at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham, having missed a chance to return to the top four, have now conceded the first goal in each of their last seven Premier League matches, the first time they have done so since November 2010.
They also conceded at least twice in seven straight league games for the first time since November 1988 (eight).
Conte missed Richarlison, Dejan Kuluszewski and Rodrigo Bentancur for Sunday’s visit to Villa and the Italian believes the lack of creative spark has hurt his team.
7. Tottenham have conceded at least two goals in each of their last seven Premier League matches, the longest 2+ streak in league matches since November 1988 (8). Anxious. pic.twitter.com/kcMJpMXEGi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2023
“In the first half we played with good intensity,” he told the BBC. “We didn’t concede anything and found that the team was defending too deep. Then we conceded that goal, and then the confidence of my players dropped.
“We need to know that our life is like this. We have to fight in every game for one or three points. This is true, especially when you are without two or three important players and are experiencing difficulties.
“We have different characteristics. We don’t have many players who are really good at beating a human. There are not many creative players in our team. For sure, today it was very difficult to find a place in the first half.
“I’m sure if we hadn’t conceded a goal, we could have won the game. The goal we conceded killed us in confidence and in many situations for sure. You should try to improve and develop these players to become even stronger.
“We conceded the first goal and we try to play for goals. We are well aware that the league will be really difficult for us.
“We must try to restore everything [injured] players, and then we need to know that in every game we have to fight and show that we are strong.”
Tottenham Hotspur will return to action on Wednesday, heading to visit London rivals Crystal Palace.