Davinson Sanchez heaps praise on Antonio Conte's impact at Tottenham

Davinson Sanchez heaps praise on Antonio Conte’s impact at Tottenham as Colombian explains how Italian’s perfectionism and eye for detail has helped transform the north Londoners

  • Antonio Conte’s perfectionism has transformed Spurs, Davinson Sanchez says 
  • The Italian has helped transform the leaky north Londoners in a matter of weeks 
  • Defender Sanchez says Conte’s eye for detail has been the key to success
  • The Colombian believes the whole squad are pushing themselves for Conte 

Antonio Conte has transformed Tottenham in rapid time thanks to perfectionism and paying attention to every detail, according to Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez.

The Italian manager took over from Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of November, and has turned around a side that was leaking goals and drifting down the table.

Spurs go into Sunday’s game with Crystal Palace six points off fourth-placed Arsenal with three games in hand, and are unbeaten in the Premier League since Conte took over, with 11 points from a possible 15.

Davinson Sanchez has hailed Antonio Conte’s instant impact at Tottenham this season

By contrast, in the seven league games before he took over, Tottenham took just six out of 21 points and conceded 16 goals, starting with a 3-0 thrashing at Palace in September. Under Conte they have let in only three goals in five games, a record bettered only by leaders Manchester City in the same period, and Sanchez says it is down to the Italian’s perfectionism and going through fine details with his players.

‘In the time he has been here, we have opened ourselves up to his ideas to find out his philosophy, the way he works, the way he wants everything done, detail by detail.

‘To the strikers H (Kane), Sonny, Lucas (Moura) or Stevie (Bergwijn), he says: ‘I want this from you, and then with the quality you have, you can play with the freedom you have always had.

Conte has been tasked with hauling the wayward north Londoners up the league table

The Italian has tightened Spurs up defensively and they are putting a good run together

‘With us defenders, it is different because it is up to us to close the doors on the pitch. In my position, you need to everything almost perfectly in every game in order to avoid conceding goals or chances. That is why he has explained everything to us, detail by detail, to make it very clear. The concepts are not difficult to get, and when you are open to ideas, it is easier for them (the coaches) and for us.’

And although the former Chelsea manager is a notoriously hard taskmaster, Sanchez says he is tough on himself too. ‘Everybody is pushing, himself first and then us. We’re going the right way and building towards being a tough team to play against.’

Tottenham have had four fixtures called off through bad weather and illness in the past month, and Sanchez says that has allowed them to spend more time on the training ground learning their new manager’s methods.

‘At the moment we are building. In this period we didn’t play Burnley, Rennes, Brighton and Leicester, we’ve worked in training on the way we are pressing, our movements at the back, the strikers’ and midfielders’ positions. He is going deeper into what he wants, and the results are doing his talking. He has shown in the past what he can do, he is a world-class manager, and for us it is a start.’

Sanchez says that Conte’s perfectionism and eye for detail has helped them get back on track

Palace are also under new management, after Roy Hodgson was replaced by Patrick Vieira in the summer, and Sanchez says: ‘He is doing well. The players need to learn what the new manager wants, his style. They are scoring more goals, getting good results against good opponents, so we don’t want to take risks against them, and our approach and preparation will be the same as we have done recently.’

Conte also praised Vieira, who was a player at Juventus before the Italian took over, and then saw at close quarters in Serie A. The great Italian coach Giovanni Trappatoni once said Conte’s success as a manager was because he had played as a midfielder, seeing all aspects of the game, and now Conte says it has helped Vieira move into coaching successfully.

‘I’m not surprised because Vieira was a fantastic midfielder, and if you are a midfielder you have more possibility to become a manager. In that position you see both offensive and defensive situations. I was sure Patrick would become a really good manager. He is doing very well and I am happy for him.’  

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