Tottenham’s belief growing & Forest looking ‘seriously scary’

Tottenham’s belief growing & Forest looking ‘seriously scary’


Tottenham players celebrate
Tottenham currently sit third in the Premier League table

Tottenham have made their best start to a Premier League campaign for 12 years, Antonio Conte is seeing improvements and they are sitting nicely alongside the top teams in the table.

Only once before have Spurs earned more than the 10 points they have won in their first four matches of the Premier League.

They have only lost twice since March and Sunday’s win over Nottingham Forest ensured they remained unbeaten this season.

But is there still more to come from them?

They were made to work for their victory at the City Ground – Nottingham Forest were impressive and have quickly showed their credentials despite looking set to sign a 17th player this summer.

It was a match-up which provided positives for both sides in different areas with Conte looking at the “long road” ahead with Spurs, while opposite number Steve Cooper has already mixed the new signings well.

‘Only when you win you get a belief’

Former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison said “Spurs were not at their best” but it was “the sign of a good team they can still win on a bad day”.

Conte also described it as a “good step forward” because of the manner of their victory which involved “suffering” under pressure from Forest.

The Italian boss believes his side are making strides – not just with encouraging results but with a stronger mentality.

“The players are improving in their resilience and also learning to suffer together and be compact,” he said.

“If you are strong mentally you survive in this type of situation. We have to continue to work. We have been working only nine months. The road is long for us.

“Sometimes only when you win something you get a belief and confidence because you know you are a winner. We are doing well and we have started this part.”

The confidence of Conte’s players was evident when Richarlison juggled the ball by the touchline shortly after setting up Harry Kane’s decisive second – a moment which was not appreciated by Forest.

“It is a game and you are under pressure. It is OK. I don’t think Richarlison wanted to show disrespect to Nottingham Forest,” said Conte.

Cooper added: “I wouldn’t want my players to do that but if that’s accepted at Spurs then that’s nothing to do with me. But it wouldn’t be accepted here, that’s for sure.”

‘Forest will be seriously scaring people’

Morgan Gibbs-White
Summer signing Morgan Gibbs-White started his first game for Forest on Sunday

Forest manager Cooper was disappointed at full-time despite his side controlling large parts of the game and causing problems for Tottenham.

It is a sign of the growing optimism at newly promoted Forest this season and Cooper insists they “don’t just want to play well, we want to win”.

“The overriding feeling is never wanting to be happy if we’re not winning,” said Cooper. “We did a lot of good things. What we didn’t do was the hardest bit and threaten the goal enough.”

The City Ground was in fine voice and Morrison said “a lot of teams will go there and lose football matches”.

They have picked up four points from their opening four games but it is their performances that have been most pleasing.

It comes after big spending in the transfer window with 16 players coming to the club and a 17th seemingly on the way – Atletico Madrid full-back Renan Lodi set to join on loan.

“Forest will be fine that is for sure. They have done fantastic business. Sometimes you can buy too many players but Forest have brought in the right players,” said Morrison.

Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said strengthening in the market “does not guarantee anything” but there will be a “real fear for other clubs”.

“Forest are bringing players off the bench who cost £40m – they have real strength in depth and it will be a big worry for teams who expect promoted teams to go down.

“I think Forest will be seriously scaring people.”

Former Forest striker Robert Earnshaw added: “They needed to build a squad that represents them in the Premier League. I think they are doing it right. Will they stay up? I think so.”

‘Kane was the difference’

Harry Kane
Harry Kane scored with his first shot against Nottingham Forest

Chances fell for both sides on Sunday but Kane proved the difference for Spurs with his two goals.

“If Forest had Harry Kane they would have won. Tottenham have one of the best strikers around in Kane and that was the difference,” said Morrison.

The England captain picked up his 200th and 201st goals in league football despite having a penalty saved by goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Last week he netted his 250th goal for Spurs in all competitions and he is fourth on the list of the Premier League’s all-time top scorers with 187.

Henderson added: “I have said before Kane is probably the best finisher I have come up against. He slapped two past me but I was happy to get the penalty over him.”

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