Huge strides for Oliver Skipp under Conte brings praise from former Tottenham man

Oliver Skipp is one of a number of Tottenham players to blossom under new manager Antonio Conte.

Oliver Skipp is one of a number of Tottenham players to blossom under new manager Antonio Conte. - Credit: JOHN WALTON/PA

Oliver Skipp’s resurgence under new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has brought praise from a former Spurs midfielder.

The Welwyn Garden City-born youngster has found a new lease of life since the Italian took over in N17, featuring in all five of the club’s games in December, starting four of them and coming off the bench in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

They haven’t lost any of them either, winning four and scoring 12 along the way and Skipp’s performances, especially in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, have led Jenas to laud the huge strides taking since Conte’s arrival.

It was a far cry from his opinion of the youngster, who was also a talented cricketer with Welwyn Garden City in his teen years, in the 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in September, Spurs being managed at the time by Nuno Espirito Santo.

Speaking on BT Sport at half-time in that game, Jenas said: “They’re getting far too much joy in there, to me Oliver Skipp doesn’t look fit in that midfield, he hasn’t got that bite to his game that he’s usually got.

“He’s not had a kick, more worrying for me the lack of influence he’s had on the team, not seen him scream at the team, not seen him take too many hits.

“He seems pretty subdued maybe it’s just what he’s working with, if Tottenham want anything out the game they need him to come to life.”

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Spurs showed little mercy against the Eagles as they made it six Premier League games unbeaten under Conte to move within striking distance of the top four with games in hand.

It is a similar effect to what he had at Chelsea but the 52-year-old was keen to cool any comparisons.

“I think it’s different. I don’t like to compare different situations,” he said.

“There’s too big a difference with my experience in the past. Also because I remember very well I started the season and when you start the season you have the possibility to work with your players and to also make decisions about your players.

“This is different. For sure we have to continue to improve, to exploit the confidence that is going to improve us. We know very well, I know very well, we have a big job to do.

“It’s good to get three points, to score three goals with your three strikers. It’s good to keep another clean sheet.

“We know very well we have to work very hard to improve the situation.”

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