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Antonio Conte defends ‘really important’ Spurs player who struggled in defeat to Man Utd

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Antonio Conte has defended Son Heung-min after the Tottenham forward’s confidence was questioned following Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United.

Spurs lost 3-2 at Old Trafford despite dragging themselves back into the game twice. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick ultimately cancelled out Harry Kane’s penalty and a Harry Maguire own goal.

The away side were on top for periods of the game but struggled for fluidity in the final third at times, with Son failing to make a significant impact – though he was involved in the build-up to the second equaliser.

The South Korean lost his footing on a couple of occasions when it looked as if he was about make something happen, and he missed a decent opportunity to score in the second half.

But Conte was eager to defend Son after the game when a journalist asked whether the 29-year-old is currently lacking confidence in the final third.

“It’s difficult to speak about single players because in the last game against Everton he was devastating,” Conte said (via Football London).

“I think that we win with the whole team and we lose with the whole team. For sure we have players that for us that are very important.

“There are a couple of players that are very, very important to us and we need to always have good performances but Sonny and I think he played a good game to give everything tonight.

“Then there are games that everything goes well and others where you can slip. Tonight, he slipped twice! He slipped twice and it was a pity because it was in two important situations where you can go towards the goal.

“Sonny is a really important player for us and he’s a player that can make a difference for Tottenham.”

Our take? Son is having a strange season, often scoring when he doesn’t play well and sometimes finding himself unrewarded after good performances. The hope is that he can become more consistent in general under Conte as the squad continues to be strengthened going into next season.

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