Antonio Conte on half-time change that gave Tottenham Hotspur 'deserved' win over difficult Leeds United
Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte credited a half-time change of plan for a win over a Leeds United side that is not easy to play against.
Boos were ringing in the Italian's ears as his first home game in charge reached the break with Leeds a goal to the good, Daniel James' 44th minute opener the least that the visitors deserved. The Whites pressed with an intensity that troubled Spurs and Marcelo Bielsa' s backline were relatively untroubled by the home side's talented attack.
But the second half was a different story. Spurs looked more dangerous from the off, created chances and scored twice through Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Sergio Reguilon.
Conte cut an animated figure on the sideline throughout, gesturing wildly for the home fans to back their team and increase the noise in the second half, before celebrating with vigour at full-time.
"We celebrated the win because I think it was a difficult win and I read the stats of Leeds and Leeds was the first team to play with this intensity this way and in the first half they played better than us, they won the tackles but also in the first half we conceded possession," he said.
"But in the second half we changed the plan tactically, we started to change the pressure and we created more difficulty, we scored two goals, we maybe deserved to score more goals but for sure it was an important win. After the first half our fans were not satisfied with the football we played and I agreed with them totally and in the second half we changed it totally.
"They played well, they showed good personality and they created difficulty to Leeds. I think to win in this way is good because there were two different situations, the first half and the second half. I said to them if we want to then we can and there is a lot of room for improvement. It's a good win and it's good to celebrate with passion."
Conte called it a 'difficult game' against Leeds due to the visitors' intensity but felt his side got on top in the second half to a sufficient degree that they deserved the win.
"In the second half we changed tactically and the plan," he said.
"We brought maybe a higher intensity than Leeds and created many chances to score two goals and we deserved to win.
"Leeds, in the first half, they played very well, with intensity, were aggressive and won a lot of tackles. They were also faster on the ball. In the second half I’m pleased because I had a good answer from players.
"From the first minute of the second half the situation was changed, totally. The players were good and confident to play the ball."
"To play against leeds and Marcelo Bielsa is not easy and we must be satisfied and this is a point to start for the rest of the season."