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Tottenham assistant Cristian Stellini questioned Spurs’ mentality after they were thumped at Leicester.

Nampalys Mendy, James Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho and Harvey Barnes piled the pressure on manager Antonio Conte as the Foxes ran riot in a 4-1 win.

Rodrigo Bentancur had given the visitors an early lead but defeat left Spurs continuing to play catch up in the race for the Champions League.

Conte was back in the dugout after gallbladder surgery but Stellini admitted the players dropped their standards.

Conte was back on the touchline
Conte was back on the touchline (Isaac Parkin/PA)

He said: “To be consistent is a long process, it’s a mental process, you have to be better mentally and better with the approach. After we scored the goal, something changed.

“We struggled a lot and we are disappointed for that. There’s not an explanation because if you know what happened you can change this. It happened last season, after we beat Manchester City we lost in Burnley.

“We are a team, in the team something has to change, not individually. It’s about the desire.

“It’s about to recover the energy mentally. After a game against Manchester City maybe you used all the energy you had. To recover the energy is like a battle. You have to recreate the same energy.”

Stellini was pleased to have Conte return to the touchline but says his boss has to ease his way back.

“It’s good for the club, the team and everyone to have Antonio back,” he added. “He has to take it easy a bit, he cannot use his energy 100 per cent and we have to give something more to cover the gap.

“We know we have to be more responsible. We have an important game on Tuesday in Milan.”

Bentancur opened the scoring after 14 minutes when he cashed in on Victor Kristiansen’s mistake to net from close range.

Stellini says Spurs' approach needs to change
Stellini says Spurs’ approach needs to change (John Walton/PA)

But that was as good as it got for Spurs as they collapsed with the Foxes netting twice in two minutes to turn the game.

First Mendy scored his maiden Leicester goal – and just second in his career – having joined in 2016 when he unleashed a rocket from the edge of the area after Bentancur cleared Maddison’s corner.

Almost immediately it was 2-1 when Wout Faes’ clearance fell to Iheanacho and he found Maddison to score his ninth goal of the season.

Tottenham were crumbling and Leicester added a third in first-half stoppage time when Iheanacho found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The visitors never recovered and, after Barnes had a goal disallowed for a marginal VAR offside call, the winger made it 4-1 with nine minutes left, collecting Maddison’s pass and beating Fraser Forster from the edge of the box.

Boss Brendan Rodgers said: “It was a brilliant performance by the players. A really brave performance.

“To be as brave as the players were and commit to what they asked us to do it was everything I want in a team – aggressive, strong, competitive. There were so many great attacking moments.

“Papy (Mendy) was brilliant, it was the second goal of his career and I’m pretty sure it’ll be his best one. I can’t say he does (it in training) but it’s a fantastic strike.

“Now we have the balance in the team, players coming back, we’re starting to see (the improvement). We have to keep this mentality and keep this consistency.”