Tottenham news: Owen Hargreaves predicts top-four result as Ian Wright left confused

Owen Hargreaves has backed Tottenham to finish fourth despite losing to Brighton on Saturday, the performance during the 1-0 defeat confusing Ian Wright

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Tottenham suffered a shock defeat to Brighton on Saturday, damaging their top-four hopes in the process.

Defeat allowed Manchester United to get within three points of Spurs and pundit Ian Wright was puzzled by Antonio Conte’s tactics throughout the competition. Tottenham were denied a shot on target and conceded a last-minute goal from Leandro Trossard.

One reason Tottenham looked far from their best was the absence of Matt Doherty, who was injured. Conte took advantage of the post match Brighton Press conference to demand better protection for his players.

Here are Mirror football latest Tottenham headlines.

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Antonio Conte watched his Tottenham side lose to Brighton

Hargreaves’ top 4 prediction

Tottenham started Saturday comfortably in fourth place, three points clear arsenal fifth and sixth ahead of Manchester United.

But defeat by Brighton, and a United win, meaning Spurs were just three points clear of either club by the end of Saturday night’s game. Arsenal have a game in hand and could draw level on points with Tottenham but that hasn’t stopped pundit Owen Hargreaves from picking the Lillywhites for qualification Champions League.

“We’ve seen Tottenham have the ability to put on a run and I expect them to do that. It’s still in Spurs’ hands because Arsenal and United are so fickle,” Hargreaves said First League productions.

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Wright criticizes the Spurs’ performance

Pandit Wright couldn’t figure out what he was watching during Brighton’s win over Tottenham.

Spurs went into Saturday’s early kick-off in red-hot form, but lacked aggression up front and were unable to disrupt the Seagulls’ goal. Trossard snatched the winner at death as Spurs were sentenced to a 1-0 loss and Wright said the performance was a far cry from the team’s performance in previous weeks.

“I don’t understand the tactics today, they played like an away team,” Wright told Premier League Productions.

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Conte makes player protection plea

Tottenham were absent from Doherty on Saturday through injury and will not have him for the remainder of the season.

Doherty picked up the season-ending injury against Aston Villa last week when he was on the bottom of a Matty Cash tackle, a challenge that was not ruled a red card offence. A week later, Conte was still discussing the injury and called for better protection from Premier League referees.

“I think the referee sometimes has to be more careful and protect the players,” said Conte after the defeat against Brighton on Saturday.

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