Antonio Conte has urged Tottenham to take momentum from Saturday’s dramatic victory at Bournemouth into Tuesday’s “final” at Marseille.
Spurs were heading for a third consecutive Premier League defeat when Kieffer Moore’s brace put the Cherries 2-0 up at the Vitality Stadium.
Conte had rested players with the midweek Champions League clash in mind, where Tottenham need a point to reach the last 16, but chucked on a number of regulars and saw it pay off as Ryan Sessegnon, Ben Davies and Rodrigo Bentancur scored to seal a 3-2 triumph.
“I think it was vital for us this win, especially after two losses in the Premier League, and now this win has to give us enthusiasm and passion to go into Marseille and to play a final,” Conte said.
“This game will be a final for us to go to the next round of the Champions League.
“I don’t want to think which would be my mood if we lose this game. I have to be honest and also after the first half my feeling was positive.
“The only situation that I ask of my players is that we are to show more personality and take more responsibility because this game was on us.
“I think in the second half, despite conceding the second goal, we started to play nasty, with a will and desire to hurt the opponent.
“I think we created many chances to score and at the end we won the game in a difficult stadium because Bournemouth is a really good team.”
Spurs had looked sluggish during the opening stages on the south coast with a new-look back three of Davinson Sanchez, Clement Lenglet and Davies struggling.
The frustration of Wednesday’s draw with Sporting Lisbon, where Tottenham were denied a last-gasp winner after Harry Kane saw his stoppage-time effort ruled out by VAR for offside, looked set to continue when Moore curled home after 22 minutes and headed a second five minutes after half-time.
Sessegnon reduced the deficit in the 57th-minute with a fine low finish before Davies headed home substitute Ivan Perisic’s cross and Bentancur completed the comeback with a smart finish in the second minute of stoppage time.
Conte, who saw Dejan Kulusevski (hamstring) go through running drills at Bournemouth, called on his players to attack earlier following their disjointed first half.
He added: “When you start to play with three at the back, when you have the ball we work to stay with the two at the back and go offensive. I think in the second half when we had nothing to lose, we started to do this.
“My players have to understand we have to do what we try during the training session and not only because we are losing 2-0.”
Bournemouth interim boss Gary O’Neil urged his team to cut out errors.
He said: “There is a big gulf between the two sides, but did it look like that for large parts of? No, I thought we closed that gap and we were competitive against a top side.
“Really disappointed with the nature of the goals because there were mistakes that will cost you at the highest level. Against world-class opposition, they will punish you.”