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‘He must believe…’ – Conte gave an advice to Steven Bergwijn if he wants Spurs future

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has said attacker Steven Bergwijn must “believe in himself more” as he fights for his future at the Premier League club, writes the National.

Bergwijn has barely figured in Conte’s starting XI since the Italian took over as manager and has been reduced to cameo appearances off the bench.

The 24-year-old, who was a target for Ajax in January, scored three goals in two games for the Netherlands during the international break.

Bergwijn spoke of frustration at his lack of gametime at Spurs while away with the Dutch team and said “we’ll see what happens in the summer” when asked about his future.

Conte – who has settled on a front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski as Spurs look to secure Champions League football next season – remains convinced that Bergwijn has the quality to succeed.

“We’re talking about a player of great quality, great potential,” Conte said. “He’s different to the other players in the squad, good one v one. When the space is tight, he’s good at beating the man and scoring.

“Steven has great space for improvement, he has to try to give continuity and to continue to work in the way that he’s doing.

“For us, he’s an important player, the type who if he starts or comes in, he can change the situation, because of a specific characteristic of superiority. Create chances for himself or the other. He has to continue to believe in himself more.

“He’s a young player with great space for improvement. He has to continue to work, to improve with and without the ball. To help the team at every moment because football is a team game and you have to be ready at every moment to help the team with or without the ball.”

Spurs currently sit fifth in the table, one place and three points behind Arsenal, although their North London rivals have a game in hand.

On Sunday, Tottenham are at home to Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United that have dragged themselves away from the relegation after a fine run of form at the start of 2022, though they have lost their previous two games 1-0 – at Chelsea and Everton, respectively.

They also enjoyed a busy January transfer window, bringing in Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn and Matt Targett. The Magpies will be without Spurs defender Trippier this weekend who is continuing his rehabilitation from a broken bone in his foot.

“I think for sure Newcastle is another team now,” said Conte. “I know well the Newcastle manager. We played against him when he was the manager with Bournemouth.

“He’s a young manager but you can see his idea about football. I think that he’s a really important prospect as a manager.

“Newcastle signed good players during the transfer window and now for sure they’re another team. We have to pay great attention on Sunday.”

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