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‘We hope to regain confidence for the second leg’ – Conte reacts to Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to AC Milan

Conte reacts to Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to AC Milan

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte insists his side will need to regain their confidence to advance past AC Milan in the Champions League.

Conte watched on as his Spurs side suffered a 1-0 defeat to the struggling Serie A champions on his return to the San Siro.

While Spurs will head into the second leg one goal down, the tie remains open for both sides to slug it out for a place in the quarter-finals.

Speaking to reporters after the game (via Calciomercato), Conte said: “We knew of the difficulties we could encounter tonight, but the approach wasn’t wrong.

“The goal conceded could have been avoided – the tactical situation shouldn’t have arisen. Then the match got into the ideal situation for Milan who defended themselves. 

“However, the qualification goes from two games. Today the public had 80,000, and they pushed over the obstacle. I hope it will be the same in London with our fans, knowing full well that it will be a difficult match.”

Conte’s injury-ravaged side failed to recover from Brahim Diaz’s seventh-minute opener, with the team lacking a cutting edge throughout the game.

Spurs went into the tie amidst a midfield crisis, with Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma ruled out through injuries

Pierre Emile-Hojberg also missed the tie through suspension, forcing Conte to field Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr. 

However, the Italian was impressed by the performance of the midfield players but challenged his forwards to regain their confidence ahead of the second leg.

“The midfield was the most positive note, and this gives me peace of mind given that we risk ending the season with two midfielders,” Conte added. 

“They were good up front – we need to find some confidence with (Dejan) Kulusevski and (Heung-min) Son because they can create difficulties for the opposing defences. So we hope to regain confidence for the second leg, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Spurs have four fixtures before they welcome Milan to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the second leg, including back-to-back London derbies against West Ham United and Chelsea.

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