Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte bemoaned his side’s lack of experience in managing games after they squandered a late lead to lose 3-2 against Southampton.
Conte had won 20 of his last 21 home league matches across spells with Inter and his current club – including a five-game unbeaten start in such fixtures with Tottenham – but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side rallied impressively on Wednesday.
Jan Bednarek turned into his own net to hand Spurs the lead before Armando Broja equalised with his sixth league goal this campaign – only Kevin Davies (nine goals in 1997-98) has scored more times in a single Premier League season for the Saints while aged under 20.
Son Heung-min seemingly set the hosts on course for victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with his 12th goal in all competitions against Southampton, five more than he has managed against any other side.
But James Ward-Prowse provided two assists as Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams delivered late strikes to secure a remarkable comeback victory, one which Conte believes his players must learn from.
“We made many mistakes in the first half; important mistakes,” Conte told reporters after the game.
“In the second half, we did well, scored, and then we have to be better to defend. I have seen the two goals, and we conceded two goals with the defensive line there.
“I know very well we are going to struggle to get three points. I said this before, I continue to repeat. Now, we are improving in many aspects, but we are still too emotional.
“We have to improve because if we want to grow as a team and try to be competitive, the first thing you have to improve is to be stable, not be up and down.
“This is a situation we have to improve. Also, I repeat, it is important to have a team with experience and manage the game.
“It was a pity because my players gave 120 per cent. The effort was maximum, I cannot say I didn’t see the right commitment. I have seen the maximum commitment.
“For this reason, we have to try to avoid this defeat. We could have avoided this defeat, especially when you go 2-1 when there are 15 minutes to play. It happened, we have to take experience about this game and try to improve.”
Tottenham failed to capitalise on the opportunity to close the gap on fourth-placed West Ham to just a point, though they still have three games in hand over their London rivals.
Conte’s side will look to make amends when they next host an in-form Wolves on Sunday.
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