Nuno Espirito Santo insisted his focus was on improving Tottenham’s young players after his side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
Maximilian Wittek’s second-half strike was enough to see Thomas Letsch’s dominant outfit past a sorry Spurs, who have won just two of their last eight away games in Europe.
The midfielder’s left-footed half-volley also ended Tottenham’s five-game unbeaten run in the Netherlands in the 21st century, while they remain winless in 2021-22 on the road across three games in European competition.
Head coach Nuno, who opted to rest Son Heung-min and Harry Kane for the trip to Arnhem, refused to lament his side’s performance as he pointed towards a busy schedule requiring rotation of his squad.
“It was a tough match. I think we competed well. In terms of attack, I think we should finish the actions better. Some combinations were missing,” the Spurs boss said.
“I knew that the game was going to be tough. I am not here to judge the players, I am here to try and improve them. The analysis and the judgement we do it behind closed doors, like you can understand.”
“A lack of focus in some moments. Especially in attack, I think we can do more.”
The boss’ reaction pic.twitter.com/g9gDr2Quic
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 21, 2021
Rennes sit top of Group G, five points clear of Spurs at the halfway point, while Vitesse sit in second on six points.
However, Nuno appeared calm as he suggested his team can bounce back with their next three games in the competition as they look to make the knockout stages.
“I think we have two games at home against Vitesse and Rennes, and then we have to play Mura. We can solve the situation of the group,” Nuno said, before defending teenage forward Dane Scarlett who struggled against a three-man defence.
“Dane is 17 years old. It is tough for him, but many of our players who are under 17 are not involved in first-team football,” Nuno said. “Experience comes when he competes against top professionals like he did against Vitesse today.”
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