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EPL: Why we lost against Man City, Tottenham boss Conte defends fruitless tactics

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has defended his tactics for defeat at Manchester City.

In 64 matches in charge of Spurs, Conte has only once deviated from his preferred system of having three centre-backs supported by wing-backs.

Asked if there were any circumstances in which he would consider a different formation, Conte told the London Evening Standard: “It could happen, but the system depends a lot on the characteristics of the players, especially the defenders. To play four at the back, you need defenders with specific characteristics.

“Also, the most important area for us is the strikers. In this squad, I have to create a situation to support Sonny [Heung-min Son], [Harry] Kane and [Dejan] Kulusevski or Richarlison.”

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Conte suggested he could try a formation with all four of his forwards on the pitch — for example, a 4-2-3-1 with Kane as a No10 — but said he would then lack options to change matches from the bench.

“Maybe we’ll try to find a solution to put the best players on the pitch, but when you do that, you don’t have possibilities to change the game on the bench,” Conte said.

“In my career, I’ve played with a [back] four and won two championships with a 4-2-4 at Juventus. In Chelsea, I started with a 4-2-3-1 and then changed, because the characteristics of the players was not so good to play a back four.

“When I arrived at Tottenham, I found this solution for the characteristics of the players. In my opinion, this is the best solution to exploit the characteristics of the players. In the future, probably we can try to change. But if we lose, I’m justified!”

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