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Tottenham 4 Southampton 1: Spurs run riot after falling behind with help from Salisu’s hilarious own goal

But he also may as well be talking about his heavily-bolstered squad.

Because the competition for places now in it suggests they could be genuine contenders for honours this term.

Conte started none of his six summer signings in this rout.

But their influence on the team was still clear with the improved displays of those given the chance to play.

After the shock of falling behind to a James Ward-Prowse volley, it was Ryan Sessegnon who began the recovery with a powerful header on 21 minutes.

Spurs’ beefed-up wing-back has been put under pressure for his position by the arrival of Ivan Perisic, who made his debut off the bench, and raised his game in response.

Spurs completed a quick turnaround when Eric Dier – one of a handful of guaranteed starters in Conte’s XI – headed home his first goal in three years.

Then they pressed home their advantage after the break as Mohammed Salisu’s weak attempt at a clearance went in his own net for 3-1.

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Within seconds three became four thanks to Dejan Kulusevski, whose own spot has come under threat following the £60million signing of Richarlison.

It was the perfect start to a season that promises so much for the hosts and one that underlined just why ambitious Conte was happy to stay this summer.

His starting XI looked very familiar but it was the strength of the bench that showed why Tottenham should be taken seriously this season.

Even without the suspended Richarlison, punished with a one-game ban for throwing a flare into the crowd while celebrating a goal for Everton last season, it was impressively deep.

New-boys Clement Lenglet, Perisic, Djed Spence, Fraser Forster – who left Southampton for Spurs this summer – and Yves Bissouma were all named as subs.

The contingent waved to their adoring new fans as they were paraded before kick-off.

Spurs started brightly but found themselves behind on 12 minutes when their former transfer target Ward-Prowse expertly fired Moussa Djenepo’s cross past Hugo Lloris.

There was no panicking though. This team is now so familiar with Conte’s system after nine months of it being drilled into them, they always looked confident of coming back.