Antonio Conte sent a strong message to his Tottenham players ahead of Saturday’s huge trip to Manchester United after his side routed Everton in the Premier League.
Spurs kept themselves in the top-four race with a 5-0 hammering of the Toffees, who are in grave relegation danger after a woeful showing in north London despite a bright start to the game.
Tottenham have been inconsistent in recent weeks but showed their best as, after Michael Keane’s own goal put them ahead early on, they ran riot, with Harry Kane scoring twice and Son Heung-min and Sergio Reguilon also netting.
It was another Kane masterclass, with his second goal a particular highlight, and he took his tally to 14 goals in 15 games against Everton.
Spurs equalled their best ever Premier League win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and will now have real belief that they can gate-crash the Champions League qualification places.
Speaking after the game, Conte told Sky Sports: “A good game. Also a good answer after the last defeat. It wasn’t an easy game because Everton are fighting. They have a really good squad with good players. Tonight we played a really good game. We moved the ball very well. We attacked the space at the right time.
“I’m pleased for my players. The hard work we are doing is starting to pay. This team is improving a lot. We have a lot of space to continue to improve.
“It’s not enough. The players and I want to try to be competitive and to fight for position at the top of the table. We have to take this responsibility, the players and I, in the last 12 games to give everything. We’ll see what our position will be.
Conte turns focus to Man Utd
“Harry Kane is in a good moment of form. He’s an important player for us. Today it’s good to celebrate because we won 5-0 but I want an answer from my players in the game against United on Saturday. I want to see if we’re getting better and better in a tough game against an important team fighting with us for the top four.
“It was a good night for everyone. On Saturday it will be a really tough game and we have to show we’re becoming stronger.
Harry Kane puts Spurs 3-0 up with less than 40 minutes played 😱
He’s now level with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on 175 Premier League goals! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/f449BBXhyK
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 7, 2022
“Since my arrival in Tottenham I didn’t know if it could be realistic but now after our months of hard work I think the two players complete our squad. Now my expectations have become higher.
“It’s difficult to beat us when we have more days to prepare. The big problem is when we have games in a short period. When you don’t have more time to prepare the game… Now we have only one target, to finish in the best possible way. We have more time to prepare and we have to try to do our best and we’ll see at the end of the season.”
Practice makes perfect for Kane
Kane, who overtook Thierry Henry in the Premier League scoring charts, added: “No game in the Premier League is easy. Credit to how we set up and we punished them on the break. All in all a really good Monday night.
“It is all about getting those chances and I am always confident I am going to hit the target. I always try and keep the ball low. Hard work and practice, it is no secret.
“Over the last few years, my game has changed a bit, in terms of dropping into the pockets, I played as a number 10 in the youth team. As teams and managers change, you have to adapt your game.
“Thierry was one of the greatest strikers we have seen. Nice to go above him in the scorers list and hopefully they keep coming.
“The top four has to be our ambition. We’re not the finished article yet but the manager has had time to settle in and physically, I think we are in a really good position. We are in there and in the mix and we have to feel that pressure if we want to to be a top team. We can’t hide from that.”
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