After Lucas Moura, Davinson Sanchez and Heung-Min Son helped Tottenham to a 3-0 win over Norwich, Antonio Conte said he feels responsibility to deliver for the Spurs supporters who sung his name; Dean Smith was left "disappointed and frustrated" after his side missed big chances
Sunday 5 December 2021 17:52, UK
Antonio Conte wants to repay the faith shown in him by the Tottenham fans with success on the pitch, after he was serenaded throughout the final stages of Spurs' 3-0 win over Norwich.
A Lucas Moura stunner and second-half goals from Davinson Sanchez and Heung-Min Son continued Spurs' unbeaten start in the Premier League under Conte, with their three wins from four league games taking them up to fifth in the table.
Afterwards, Conte was appreciative of the reception he received from the home support at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but insisted he has a lot of work to do.
"I want to say thanks to all the fans that sang my name," he said. "On one hand I'm very happy for this, on the other hand I feel a lot of responsibility to our fans.
"They trust a lot in my work and to listen to my name was good because I have just arrived, only one month I've been here. Maybe it's too much early! But I want to show in the future I deserve this.
"I think the good result helps you but I want to deserve the fans - if they decide to sing my name - for my work, for my total involvement in this club, in this situation."
Conte continued the theme that Spurs are just beginning their journey to where they want to be my adding that he will now expect more goals from Moura, after the Brazilian blasted in just his second Premier League goal from outside the box in a Tottenham shirt.
"Lucas scored an amazing goal but he has the quality to score more goals and he has to score more goals," said Conte. "We need this type of situation.
"In front, we have great quality with the strikers. And Lucas has great quality. Surely, my expectation is to see much more goals after this. But good performance with the ball, without the ball."
Conte also had encouragement for young wing-back Ryan Sessegnon, who did well after coming on for the injured Sergio Reguilon, but was keen to credit the recent displays of Ben Davies at left centre-back.
The Welshman had been in and out of the side earlier this season but has built up a good run of game time under Conte and, as well as strengthening a defence which has conceded just one goal in four Premier League games since the Italian took charge, he has offered thrust on the front foot, picking up an assist for Son's strike on Sunday.
"Ben is playing very well and I think in that role specifically I can get out the best of him. It happens the same with Cesar Azpilicueta and the three central defenders," said Conte, referring to the Chelsea player he managed when he was with the Blues.
"It's important to be good defensively but at the same time it's important to play football, with personality, to play the ball. And when you find a team that is defending low, it's very important in this system.
"Ben is showing great solidity. He's playing very well. We are talking about a really good person, a really good guy. He's always very focused, concentrated and he played well."
Meanwhile, Norwich boss Dean Smith felt his side could have got more out of the game, with Teemu Pukki shooting at Hugo Lloris in the opening minutes before Adam Idah failed to find the target when Pukki prodded the ball at him from close range on the hour mark.
Smith - who set his side up in a back three - also hit out pre-emptively at critics who will judge his 20th-placed side on the scoreline.
"I'm disappointed and frustrated because I thought our performance deserved more," said Smith.
"There will be lazy punditry that believes it was expected but we were in the game all the time.
"I'm annoyed at the second goal - we have to defend set-pieces better. They were more clinical than we were. I felt we were the better team in the first half but sometimes you have to nod your head to the quality. We stuck to our game plan and adapted to a different system for us.
"We didn't want to go gung-ho, but I wanted to play with two up top and create them some problems, which I felt we did as well. Adam will be disappointed with the big chance that came his way, it came at him really quick.
"The performance is a step in the right direction. The scoreline isn't. We have to learn to defend better because the longer you stay in the game the more chances you get to get something out of it."