‘This is the difference’ – Conte delivers proof Tottenham turning corner after Brentford draw

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Antonio Conte believes that Tottenham’s struggles in their past two games are because teams are beginning to pay more attention to his side.

Spurs got themselves firmly in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish with five wins from six recently. However, they suffered a hiccup last weekend with a 1-0 defeat to Brighton.

And a lacklustre 0-0 draw with Brentford on Saturday compounded the newfound frustration for Tottenham.

Indeed, Eric Dier claimed that the most recent results are not what the side expects given the progress they have made since Conte took over in November.

For Conte, though, the growth at Tottenham has made their opponents take more care in their approach to playing them.

“I think now the opponent when they face us they pay great attention. This is the difference,” the Italian told Match of the Day.

“When you climb the mountain and start going up, the difficulty becomes more and more.

“I think defensively we were good today. Offensively we can do much better. But we have to respect the game Brentford played as they played a very good game.”

Conte continued in his praise of Thomas Frank’s Brentford, who he says stopped Spurs deserving three points.

“A little bit frustrated because in every game you want to try to win,” Conte said. “But at the end of the game I think the draw was fair. They are strong physically and crated many problems in set pieces.

“I think in the end, a draw, in our mind we wanted three points. Today we didn’t deserve three points. Now we have to try to prepare the last five games in the best possible way and stay in this race.”

Spurs’ draw kept them fifth in the Premier League. They are now two points behind Arsenal after the Gunners beat Manchester United 3-1 earlier on Saturday.

“We have to be very proud because of the difficulties this club has faced this season,” Conte added.

“To now fight for a target like Champions League in England we have to be proud.”

Conte talks Eriksen, Tottenham reunion

Antonio Conte Tottenham v Brighton

Meanwhile, Saturday was a special day for Christian Eriksen, who faced Tottenham for the first time since leaving in 2020.

The reunion was even more of a highlight given the Denmark star’s return to action following a cardiac arrest last summer.

Conte, who managed Eriksen at Inter, said: “I have seen Christian in fantastic form. We are talking about a really good player, great quality.

“He uses two feet in the same way and is very dangerous in free-kick and corners. I am pleased to see him, especially after what happened.

“Brentford gave him a possibility to play again and for this reason Brentford deserve to enjoy this type of game with him.”

Spurs return to action when facing Leicester in north London.

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