EPL

'Something has to change' – Stellini questions Spurs' mentality after heavy Leicester loss

By Sports Desk February 11, 2023

Cristian Stellini has questioned the mentality of Tottenham's players and accepts "something has to change" after a 4-1 loss at Leicester City.

Spurs failed to build on last weekend's 1-0 win over Manchester City as their hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four suffered another setback.

Rodrigo Bentancur gave Tottenham the lead, but Leicester responded with goals from Nampalys Mendy, James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho before half-time.

Harvey Barnes added a late fourth at the King Power Stadium to inflict a fourth league defeat on Spurs in seven matches since the turn of the year.

Tottenham assistant Stellini, who took press duties despite Antonio Conte returning to the dugout following gallbladder surgery, was not pleased with what he saw on Saturday.

"To be consistent is a long process; it's a mental process," he said. "You have to be better mentally and better with the approach. After we scored the goal, something changed.

"We struggled a lot and we are disappointed for that. There's not an explanation because if you know what happened you can change this. 

"It happened last season, after we beat Manchester City we lost to Burnley. We are a team, and in the team something has to change, not individually. It's about the desire.

"It's about recovering the mental energy. After a game against City, maybe we used all the energy we had. To recover that is like a battle. You have to recreate the same energy."

Conte returned to Tottenham's training ground on Thursday, eight days on from undergoing surgery, but Stellini explained the head coach is still recovering.

"It's good for the club, the team and everyone to have Antonio back," he said. "He has to take it easy a bit. 

"He cannot use his energy 100 per cent and we have to give something more to cover the gap. We know we have to be more responsible."

Tottenham are two points behind fourth-place Newcastle United, who played out a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth later on Saturday and have a game in hand.

Conte's side host London rivals West Ham and Chelsea in their next two league games, but first is a Champions League last-16 first-leg tie away at Milan on Tuesday.

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