Antonio Conte: Spurs have to treat the last nine games as cup finals

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says his side have nine cup finals left to qualify for the Champions League.

Purs stayed firmly in the top four with a 3-1 win over West Ham thanks to a Son Heung-min brace and a Kurt Zouma own goal.

That puts them three points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand but need to visit their north London rivals in a game that has yet to be postponed.

After keeping his side out of the race for so long, Conte says qualifying in the top four is now the only goal going into the final run-in after the international break.

“The only way to put pressure on Arsenal is to take three points and win,” said Conte. “Nine games are left and for us every game has to be a final.

“At the moment they have a good advantage, mainly because they have worked with the same manager for many years and have had many transfer markets with the same manager, maybe they are more ready than us at this moment.

“But in five months we’ve done a fantastic job with these players and closed the gap with a lot of teams in England.


Son Heung-min celebrates Tottenham’s third goal (Nick Potts/PA)

“Now we have only one goal in mind in our dressing room. I want this to happen because it’s right, if you want to improve the mentality, it’s right to start under pressure.

“That’s why I want to set myself this goal, the race for fourth place. We know the difficulty of achieving this goal. Tottenham must have the ambition to play the best competition.

“It’s not easy in England, at this moment there are four teams that are very, very good, but if one of those four teams has problems, we have to try to stay there.

“We know there’s Arsenal, who take advantage in the table and they’re showing great stability, and there’s West Ham and (Manchester) United. We want to try to fight and having that ambition is important to ask all the players, especially the important players because they are able to take responsibility to show that message.”

West Ham’s own top four challenge took a definitive blow as they are now six points behind Arsenal after playing two more games.

They got back into the game through Said Benrahma but couldn’t get anything out of it.

Boss David Moyes said: “I’m a bit upset that I’m being asked about this but I’m also quite pleased because it tells me we were seen as a team that was seen for the top four.

“If someone had said that to me, I would have laughed. We were a challenge but if you had said that at the start of the season none of you would have said yes.


Declan Rice looks dejected after defeat (Nick Potts/PA)

“It should be said how well West Ham managed to stay in contention until the latter part of the season and perhaps they are out of contention for the top four for the first time.

“Because in truth we were in that group but you would never see West Ham as a top four side.” Antonio Conte: Spurs have to treat the last nine games as cup finals

Fry Electronics Team

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