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Steven Bergwijn must believe in himself, insists Tottenham boss Antonio Conte

Bergwijn has been a bit-part player under Conte and has been restricted to brief cameos off the bench.

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Steven Bergwijn, pictured, must believe in himself, says Spurs boss Antonio Conte (Mike Egerton/PA)

Steven Bergwijn, pictured, must believe in himself, says Spurs boss Antonio Conte (Mike Egerton/PA)

Steven Bergwijn, pictured, must believe in himself, says Spurs boss Antonio Conte (Mike Egerton/PA)

Antonio Conte says Steven Bergwijn has to believe in himself more as he battles for his Tottenham career.

Bergwijn has been a bit-part player under Conte and has been restricted to brief cameos off the bench as the boss has settled on a front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski.

But Bergwijn, who Ajax tried to sign in January, put his name in lights during the recent international break, scoring three goals in two games for the Netherlands before saying that he will “see what happens in the summer” regarding his Spurs future.

Conte says the 24-year-old has unique characteristics and can be useful to Spurs.

“We’re talking about a player of great quality, great potential,” he 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.”

Bergwijn is likely to be on the bench again when Newcastle visit on Sunday.

The Magpies are a far cry from the side that looked destined for the drop as Eddie Howe has led them up the table, though they have lost their last two games.

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Antonio Conte is an admirer of Newcastle boss Eddie Howe (John Walton/PA)

Antonio Conte is an admirer of Newcastle boss Eddie Howe (John Walton/PA)

Antonio Conte is an admirer of Newcastle boss Eddie Howe (John Walton/PA)

Conte said: “I think for sure Newcastle is another team now. 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.

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

“They lost the two games but before they got points with all teams, low, medium or top teams. So for this reason we have to pay great attention.

“It won’t be an easy game but we know this and we have tried to prepare very well for the game. We know that from now on, there are nine games and for us it’s very important to get three points because we want to finish as high as possible in this league.”

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