EPL

Conte hails Kulusevski's 'big impact' in Tottenham's rout of Southampton

By Sports Desk August 06, 2022

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte had particular praise for Dejan Kulusevski's "big impact" from following a dominant win over Southampton.

A 4-1 victory in north London on Saturday marked Spurs' biggest opening-day victory since beating Aston Villa 3-0 in August 1986.

Kulusevski was the star of the show, assisting Ryan Sessegnon's equaliser before adding his own name to the scoresheet in the second half, taking his impressive Premier League record to six goals and nine assists in 17 matches.

He crafted three chances for team-mates and finished with a hugely impressive 92.1 per cent passing accuracy, while also making four tackles – proof of his ability to work back defensively.

"Dejan made a big impact but also last season. He and Rodrigo [Bentancur] integrated really good with the squad," Conte told BBC Sport.

"Dejan has continued in this way but he has to continue to work in this way with his behaviour and ambition. 

"He has a lot of ambition – he wants to become one of the best players in his role. I think this ambition is good, if he is humble and works to continue to work he can do that."

Spurs' win came without Conte handing starts to any of his six additions so far in the transfer window and believes the performance displays the work he has undergone with the squad in recent months.

"It was a perfect start for us, despite going behind. We started well because we were leading the game but we conceded a goal but after this we continue to play and we continued to believe in what we are working on in the training sessions," he added.

"I liked the game a lot for the result but especially the way in which the result was created – creating many chances to score, good possession, good high and medium pressure and we were good when we lost the ball and the intensity to try and get it back.

"I saw a lot of positive things, but we are only in the first game. Today we have seen summer work with my players."

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