Steven Bergwijn reveals Antonio Conte’s instructions before Tottenham heroics
The Netherlands international scored twice in 79 seconds of time added on to turn Spurs’ 2-1 deficit into a memorable 3-2 victory.
He was sent on in the 78th minute, two minutes after James Maddison had put the Foxes on course for the three points in their first Premier League game of 2022 with a clear instruction from Conte – to score.
Bergwijn, who has been subject of a bid from Ajax in the January transfer window, duly obliged, firing home from close range in the fifth minute of added time and then sparking mad scenes of celebration by rounding Kasper Schmeichel and finding the bottom corner straight from kick-off.
Asked what Conte told him before he went on, Bergwijn explained: “He said, ‘Score and create some difficult moments for the defenders and stay close to Harry’ (Kane) and I did it.
“This is football, this is why we love football, it was a difficult game. It is fantastic, it was a fantastic game, I scored two goals so I am happy.”
Conte has described Bergwijn as an “important” part of his squad even though he has endured a frustrating season.
His appearance at the King Power Stadium was his first since picking up an injury on Boxing Day.
“You want to play and you get out of the rhythm, training is different to the game. It is what it is,” Bergwijn added.
“It has been a difficult season with injuries, we have H (Kane), Sonny (Son Heung-min) and Lucas (Moura) as well. I need to work and when I come on I need to show myself and the manager.”
Leicester were minutes away from kicking off their Premier League campaign in 2022 in style, having not played in the league since December 28.
This is football, this is why we love football, it was a difficult game. It is fantastic, it was a fantastic game, I scored two goals so I am happy
The Foxes were still without several players through injury and are particularly low on numbers in defence.
But boss Brendan Rodgers thinks it will be difficult to sign anyone this month.
“It’s going to be really tough for us, the possibility for us to get someone in on loan,” Rodgers said. “There’s not so many options that are out there.
“We may have to go with what we have. We’ll continue to look and see where the possibilities are, but we may have to go with what we have.”