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Antonio Conte explains why he left Son Heung-min on the bench vs Team K League

The 64,000 fans in attenance at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday were made to wait to see Son Heung-min. The Korean national team skipper didn't star the match but came on very early in the second half. Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte says that the decision to bring Son on alone and not in a batch of other substitutions was deliberate.

Conte was pleased with the intensity his team showed, especially in the second half and seemed to enjoy the atmosphere at Seoul World Cup Stadium:

"I think it was a good game to play in front of 64,000 people. It's very exciting for the players and to find this atmosphere was great. For this reason, I think also, the players try to push themselves, despite we started the season for many players only, only three days now training session and other player we started then 10 days [ago]. Yeah, it was a good game, you've seen positive things [and] other situations that we can improve. 

"But I am satisfied for the game because we enjoyed the atmosphere. We take positive situations from the friendly game, but the mentality of my players is to try to play every game and to get a winner. The first half was a good intensity. I didn't ask high intensity to my players because, I repeat, in this period, in this part of the preseason [it] is very difficult, especially for players that they have just started tough training session after one month of rest. 

"Today I asked [them] to play with the right mentality to enjoy the game to enjoy the atmosphere and to to respect the people, to play in front of 64,000 people and also you're here to give respect and for this reason you have to put commitment. And, to score six goals was positive to concede three goals is the negative aspects that for sure we need to improve."

Son Heung-min gets ready to come on early in the second half

Son Heung-min was named among the substitutes but came on three minute into the second half. Conte explains that the decision to do this was deliberate. 

"I think with Sonny also we started with the players that started that the preseason 10 days ago and Sonny, he has only three days of training sessions with us and it was the same for Kane it was the same for the players that play in the second half. Also, Lloris and then we decided also to give Sonny to come in alone and to receive claps of all the people and To show their [affection] and yeah, it was for this reason."

[READ: Son Heung-min scores brace against Team K League in nine-goal thriller]

The Premier League and Serie A title-winning manager had a message for the fans who came to Seoul World Cup Stadium to watch the game.

I want to tell thanks to everyone coming here to watch the game. As I said before, it was amazing. The welcome that we have received [in] the airport, it was amazing to play in front of 64,000 people despite that was a friendly game. And for this reason, I want to tell only thanks for everyone. For me for the club, but for all the players it's a privilege and it's an honour to stay in Korea and we enjoyed a lot this time."

Conte was also impressed by Team K League too, it seems.

"Then the Korean star was was was a good team, was a good team. They create many difficulties and they scored three goals and but I think they play the good football and I've seen a lot of good players in this team."

KLU Patreon

Post-match Audio

Listen to what was said after the match in the press conference and the mixed zone on KLU Patreon.

Antonio Conte: here

Lars Veldwijk: here

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