Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was disappointed by his side’s start against Brentford but claimed they “could have won” their 2-2 draw.
Tottenham travelled to west London on Boxing Day for their first game back after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Hugo Lloris only returned at the weekend so was left out in place of Fraser Forster in goal, but it was otherwise a strong line-up for the away side.
However, they found themselves 2-0 down before goals from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg levelled in the second half for a point.
Conte’s contract at Tottenham is up at the end of the season with no guarantee he will extend his current deal, and there is frustration amongst some fans over the Italian’s tactics at Spurs.
Speaking at a press conference after the game, he had mixed feelings about an entertaining spectacle.
“For the people that today watched the game that are not watching Tottenham for the first time it’s another exciting game,” he said. “On one side, I have to be happy because of the way we played in the second half, the energy, desire and intensity and when you play like this you create problems.
“On the other side, this is now nine games in a row we concede the first goal. It’s important to be stable for a team that wants to try to stay in a good position in the table. To concede so many goals the first goal or two goals, we have to make good reflections. We have to find solutions.
“For me, this is the first time in my career to concede nine games in a row. They showed great character but we have to start in this way. In our mind, it was so and we didn’t want that. A difficult team and they drew against Chelsea, beat City. It’s not easy to press them because they can hit it long and [Ivan] Toney is very good.
“I want to underline how good they are but we could have won.”
Conte was asked if he would need to go back into the transfer market to take account of injuries in his squad, but he appeared content with his options in defence.
He said: “Now we have recovered also Japhet Tanganga, after the first game of the season. He needs a bit of time to get into the game. I’m pleased for him to play a game today.
“With central defenders we are good, we have to continue to work. Cuti Romero comes back to training tomorrow. On one side I’m a bit disappointed, but on the other we’re scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank also had a mixture of emotions after seeing his side drop three points after going 2-0 up thanks to Ivan Toney and, before him, Vitaly Janelt.
“Until the Kane goal, I think there was only one team on the pitch. They threatened when it was 2-2, but over the 90 minutes I think we deserved the win. It’s a very good performance and we’re disappointed [not to win].”