Antonio Conte’s message finally seems to be getting through to his Tottenham Hotspur team who produced their best performance since he took charge in a 2-0 Premier League defeat of Brentford on Thursday.
The Italian has been critical of his team since arriving following Nuno Espirito Santos’s sacking, especially after last week’s humiliating loss to NS Mura in Slovenia.
Conte fielded a second-string side against Mura but sent out his preferred eleven against Brentford and they controlled the game from start to finish.
The former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan manager spent almost the entire 90 minutes roaming his technical area, yelling instructions and gesticulating frantically to his players.
They responded with a high-tempo display full of defensive discipline, midfield tenacity and goal threat.
His team are up to sixth in the table, only a point behind Arsenal and two behind West Ham United with a game in hand.
“The players are starting to understand my philosophy. With the ball we can do better but at the same time the second goal was really good,” he said of Son Heung-min’s effort that sealed the points after a slick counter-attack.
“We have started on a new path. The players are showing me great desire to change the situation.”
Ben Davies’s header which deflected off Brentford’s Sergi Canos gave Tottenham an early lead and they never really looked like letting the points slip.
Serial winner Conte demands high standards, which is why the loss to Mura hurt so much.
“Today we won, in Slovenia it was a really bad defeat for everyone. I think you can learn a lot more about a loss than a win but for sure the defeat hurt us against Mura,” he said.
“Today we fought to win the tackles and we were very concentrated. For sure we can improve and we have a lot of space for improvement in possession.
“Without the ball we did well and we put pressure on them and I want to see this. To make difficulty for our opponent to play the ball. We’ll continue to work to improve.”
For all their troubles in Europe, Tottenham are undefeated in the Premier League in Conte’s three games in charge and host Norwich City on Sunday with the mood suddenly buoyant again.