Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has explained why striker Dejan Kulusevski was replaced by defender Davinson Sanchez late in the must-win match against AC Milan on Wednesday.
Tottenham were eliminated from the Champions League round of 16 after losing to the Italians 1-0 on aggregate and drawing 0-0 in north London this week.
Despite needing a goal, Spurs barely bothered Milan over the course of 180 minutes and were particularly toothless in Wednesday’s game.
Cristian Romero was sent off with just over 10 minutes to play and, despite Spurs desperately searching for a breakthrough, Conte opted to replace Kulusevski with Sanchez.
The substitution was booed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with fans chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing” and even ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino’s name.
First-team boss Ryan Mason has been filmed questioning the change on the touchline and has been compared to his predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo’s lethal substitute during his final game in charge. spurswhich led to Lucas Moura taking away from Steven Bergwijn when he also needed to score.
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Conti He was asked about his decision to make this substitution ahead of Tottenham’s return to the Premier League match against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
“We had three attackers [Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison]We continued to play with three strikers. we played with [Pedro] Boro. We played 3-4-3 [before]without [11 players]We played 3-2-3”.
“But if you win the game, is it because you only have two strikers? We have to find every moment to take risks but not lose balance. Then we had the chance. If you think we can play with four strikers, with 2-2-4 and if you think counter-attacking And space, well…
“I think I’m doing my job and everyone should do their job. I think I have a job behind me and the experience to try to make the best decision. Then I repeat and you can accept it or not. Score a goal and if you score a goal you go in in 30 minutes with four forwards. I understand the fans but I’m the coach and I have to I always find the best solution for the team.”