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Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo vows to build on positive first-half approach after Chelsea loss

·3-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Nuno Espirito Santo says he is confident his Tottenham side will improve and targeted building on their first-half display in Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Second-half goals from Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger condemned Spurs to back-to-back defeats under Nuno, who is now under pressure to return to winning ways at his former club Wolves in the League Cup on Wednesday.

Spurs shaded a pulsating opening 45 minutes with a display of high octane pressing that was quite unlike their pedestrian defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend but the game changed with the half-time introduction of Kante, underlining the strength of Chelsea’s squad.

Nuno, by contrast, was missing injured duo Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, leaving him only able to introduce youngsters Oliver Skipp and Bryan Gil after falling behind.

“We have to be aware of what is happening to our squad and to us, this is not compared to anyone else, let’s focus on our own problems because we have a lot of problems to solve,” Nuno said afterwards.

“The absence of players, the issues we have and mainly that we have to improve. We have to improve, the next challenge is to sustain the levels of performance through the game. I am really confident and positive that we will get there.

“We had to find solutions. Since the beginning this is our focus - to find solutions that can help the players to perform. To find partnerships. We started one way at the beginning of the season because those were the players available to build on.

“The international break came and we had problems. Now, I honestly believe the first half was really good, really good. The energy that we put on the pitch – the attitude, the spirit the players had. So if there’s only one positive today, that was the first half.”

Thiago headed Chelsea in front four minutes into the second half after rising above Dele Alli from Marcos Alonso’s corner.

“I think the change of the game was a set-piece, after that it became really hard for us to get back into the game,” continued Nuno.

“The goal we conceded, we started chasing a result and with the quality of players that Chelsea have they create problems, straight balls, running in behind and that is the main reason.

“We are going to analyse, there is lots of things we have to look at, but the first impression is the way we conceded really punished us after all the energy we put into the first half.

“A lot of things [went wrong]. A lot of things. Starting from the way we conceded, it’s disappointing the way to concede, through a set piece. Then after that it became really hard, really hard to get back in the game. Chelsea is a good team and in possession they created us problems. Like you said, very good first half, very good. We competed really well, we played good football, we pressed high so we have the awareness that we have a lot of things we need to improve, but the awareness of the first half must stick with us so we can build on it.”

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