Antonio Conte was detailing the problems to come in the wake of the Tottenham Covid outbreak as well as providing an update on the club’s injured players.
Spurs had nine first-team players who tested positive and five members of the technical staff, as well as a number of the under-23 development team.
Tottenham will return to the stadiums on Thursday evening with a trip to Leicester City to play a match that the two teams requested to be postponed from the English Premier League.
The Foxes did so due to their own struggles with Covid, disease and injuries, with nine players due to be absent, while Tottenham wanted to play the previously canceled Europa League match against Rennes this week.
However, the Premier League were wary that the north London side had already postponed Burnley and Brighton’s away matches to fit in somewhere and the request from both clubs was denied.
“I don’t know about Leicester’s position, but if it is true that nine Leicester players will be absent, then it will be a strange match with two teams affected by Covid,” Conte said.
“Now we have to do what the Premier League asks us to do. I think now is the time to try a solution. I don’t know. I was frustrated last week and was nervous to have players every day with Covid. It made me very upset and now we don’t have any players with Covid.” We have problems after Covid. Obviously if you compare this week to last week, we are back now.”
And some of the injured Tottenham players have experienced symptoms, although fortunately it did not go so far as to seek hospital treatment, but the Italian is concerned about how long it will take for some to regain full fitness.
“For the players who were with Covid, they did not show serious symptoms and this is good for the players,” he said. “Honestly, I think [what happens next] Which is the big problem now, because when you have covid and you have ten days and you stay home and usually after ten days you go negative.
“The problem is the way Covid affects your body and certainly we have to pay great attention to getting the right training sessions.
“I think a lot of people don’t know very well how long it takes players or a player’s body to recover well to feel 100 per cent. That is the problem not just for the Tottenham players but for all the players in the whole world, but at the same time, when you have a team of 20 players And nine of them have Covid, so naturally I’m a little worried.
“There are many problems during the season and this is a big problem, but we want to face it in the right way and overcome this problem and overcome this situation,” he added.
Conte was asked about the strength of the team he will take to King Power Stadium on Thursday night.
“We have players who were not affected by Covid and now there are three other players who were before with Covid,” he said.
“It’s not easy but I repeat during the season that we have to know that there are moments that you have to face with problems.
“You have to be very good to face this problem and overcome this problem. Definitely Covid for us, it is a big problem but at the same time, we have to face it in a strong way and try to do our best in this strange situation.”
Regarding injuries, he said, “No, there are no injuries [apart from] Romero, the good news is that Giovanni Lo Celso is available and has started training with us from Sunday.
“Now we only have the injured Romero and we hope Christian recovers very soon. You know the injury is a serious injury and I also understand the player’s frustration, because he doesn’t have the chance to play but Christian has to be. Calm and recover in the right way because we need him.”
The Tottenham boss is confident his players will be vigilant outside the club’s walls with record numbers of Covid cases across the country and the new Omicron variant.
“I think, frankly, that the players are very smart to understand the situation, that this virus is repeating again and we have to pay attention because no one wants to stop matches and prevent people from going to the stadium,” Conte said.
“I think my players are very smart to understand this. I don’t think I need to inform them of this situation, I think it’s normal to be patient for you and your family because we all have a family and we don’t want to affect others.
“Of course we have to pay a lot of attention because the situation is much worse if compared to the past, but at the same time I think we are in time to find a solution, to pay more attention, especially since no one wants to stop the league, no one wants to stop playing, no Nobody wants to stop people from coming to the stadium.”
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Tottenham are waiting to hear their fate in the European Conference League as their match against Rennes last week has to be called off.
After discussions with the Health Security Agency and government advisors, Tottenham were advised to close the first team area at Hotspur Way’s training complex ahead of the match.
Spurs did everything they could to try to play the European match and believe they have given Rennes and UEFA every possible date for the match to start, even offering to travel to France to play it if necessary.
Conte believes the fact that the outbreak was spreading rapidly across the club and the government advised the first-team section of the training ground should be closed means that Tottenham should not be taken out of the competition for something outside their control.
“The situation is very, very clear. Everyone can see the situation. The government has suspended our training courses and closed our training center,” he said.
“In this way it is impossible to play a match for this reason and we deserve to play the last game of our group.
“Tottenham deserves to play this match [against Rennes]. It was not our fault but because of the Covid situation and the government decided in the right way to stop our activities or else we would have risked all the people who worked here to get Covid.”