First-half goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron sent Newcastle into the Premier League's top four with a superb 2-1 win at Tottenham; Antonio Conte reiterated the need for "two or three" transfer windows but the Italian is yet to sign a contract beyond next summer
Wednesday 26 October 2022 19:52, UK
Jamie Redknapp has called on Antonio Conte to commit his long-term future to Tottenham to help remove any lingering uncertainty that could contribute to his side's season unravelling after a second successive league defeat.
First-half goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron sent Newcastle into the Premier League's top four with a superb 2-1 win at Tottenham.
It was arguably the Magpies' best result under Eddie Howe, with this victory making it four wins in five games for the north-east club, who ultimately hold long-term aspirations of being Champions League regulars.
This statement win consigned Spurs to back-to-back defeats and occurred amid some controversy, with the hosts unhappy no foul was awarded against Wilson, who collided with Hugo Lloris in the build-up to his lobbed opener.
Almiron added a second for the visitors nine minutes later with 40 on the clock and while Harry Kane pulled one back early in the second half, Newcastle held on to leapfrog Chelsea and Manchester United in the table.
Conte refused to apportion any blame on Lloris - who produced his 12th error leading to a goal since August 2017 (only Jordan Pickford - 13 - has committed more) - but preferred to focus on his team's crippling injury list which was added to with the unspecified absences of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cristian Romero.
"My only worry in this moment is that we try to keep the fingers crossed and to not have injuries," said Conte. "We're not a team with so much depth to face so much competition with the Premier League and the Champions League.
"We knew the situation and I spoke to the club and I said we need to go step by step with patience. I said we needed two or three transfer markets. Every three days we're playing a massive game. Hojbjerg had played every game and in the end, he gets an injury because he was tired and it was the same for Cristian Romero and for Richarlison.
"For Dejan Kulusevski, we hoped to have him back much sooner but instead the situation got worse and now we have to wait. Lucas Moura started the season with a problem in his tendon and now he's trying to recover. Oliver Skipp played his first game since January.
"When you put all these situations together, you have to understand that at this difficult moment it's about coping. We'll try to get to November in the best possible way. For some players, this was the seventh game in a row.
Harry Kane: Played every minute available in last seven games – only rested for 12 minutes all season
Heung-Min Son: Only been rested for 26 minutes in last seven games
Hugo Lloris: Played every minute of every game
Rodrigo Bentancur: Only missed West Ham game through head injury, started the rest of matches this season
Eric Dier: Only been rested for 12 minutes of football this season
"For sure this type of situation makes me frustrated because I would like to play this type of game, also in the Champions League, with the best team and then to have on the bench three, four or five good substitutions and not to try to invent situations you understand? But we knew this.
"When I spoke before I always said look, we have just started the process for Tottenham to bring Tottenham into the best position to be more competitive to fight for something important, we have just started.
"For this reason we need to cope with this situation. For me it is not easy, it is not simple but we have to cope and to manage the situation with experience and stay together.
"Today I don't have complaints about the attitude, will and desire of the players because every single player performed. The attitude and effort was really strong and really big but sometimes it is not enough.
"Before they scored, I only saw one team. Nick Pope made two or three amazing saves before they scored. For the goal, for sure we can do much better. I don't want to comment on the referee's decision as I don't like to do it but for sure we could've done much better in that situation.
"The second goal could've killed other teams but I saw a good reaction from my players. There's a big risk to concede goals and lose your head but instead we tried to score and create chances to level the game. In the end, we didn't do it. In my personal opinion, the draw would've been a fair result."
But Redknapp believes Conte cannot solely use injuries as evidence for Tottenham's miserable week which started with the 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.
With the Italian stating the need for several windows, the Sky Sports pundit believes the Spurs boss should sign a new contract beyond next summer, when his current deal expires.
"He is talking about the process taking a few years but I think I am right in saying that he has only got until the summer when his contract ends," said Redknapp.
"He is a manager who works in short bursts. He goes in somewhere for three years, wins, and then normally he goes somewhere else.
"It is not an easy conversation to have but if we are talking about process, if I am a player there you need to know that he wants to be there and he is part of that process. Normally, a manager of his ilk would be signed up by now.
"We are very close to Christmas, the World Cup, the season can be over very quickly. You need to get him tied up so he can talk about who he wants in.
"You need to get Harry Kane signed up, he has 18 months left on his contract as well. These are really important factors that they have to get right as a club because they can't have Harry Kane leaving and they certainly can't have the manager leaving."
After weathering an early Tottenham onslaught, Newcastle never looked back after scoring the opening goal and end the day in fourth position in the Premier League - it is the first time they have been in the top four of the table with as many as 12 games played since April 2012.
No team have lost fewer games than Newcastle (1) in the Premier League this season. Indeed, this is the joint-fewest defeats the Magpies have had after 12 games of a Premier League campaign, along with 1994-95, 1995-96 and 2011-12 - they finished in the top six in each of the previous three instances.
Boss Eddie Howe said: "I have real pride in the players and the whole football club really. The scenes at the end were brilliant to be a part of. They took on every instruction they were given today and it was probably the best performance since I've been here.
"It's a big win. We were determined to come here and be positive, like we have been all season. It was a great performance, we fully deserved it. There wasn't anything lucky about it. Full credit to my players."
Howe is staying grounded despite growing belief among supporters that a Champions League battle could await the team having risen into the top four.
"There is a long way to go," he added. "It's a tight division. There's a lot of swings through the season. We'll enjoy the moment but we won't be getting ahead of ourselves.
"I'm sure people will talk us up but it's up to us now to live up to that. I won't be putting any external pressure on players that are giving me everything. As long as we continue to do that we'll take what happens.
"All we will do is continue to give everything for success."
Tottenham return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they host Sporting Lisbon (kick-off 8pm), while Newcastle welcome managerless Aston Villa to St James' Park in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).