Key Quotes: Conte's press conference ahead of Premier League clash with Leicester City
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Antonio Conte, head coach of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur press conference at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on December 08, 2021 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

A lot of talking points about Tottenham Hotspur currently take place off the field. The club has been hit with a Covid outbreak that has forced them to cancel two games in a row. 

However, after reports that the situation is now under a bit of control, Spurs appear to be facing Leicester City tomorrow at the King Power Stadium. 

After a very eventful week, Antonio Conte spoke to the media. Here are his key quotes: 

  • On Covid Situation 

Conte has had a rather drama-filled week. When asked about the past seven days, he said: 

"Last week was terrible because the government decides, in the right way, to close the training ground and stop our training session. I had the press conference where it's very difficult to speak about football.

"Then we had Thursday, Friday and Saturday without any sessions. Sunday we started again to work with not many players, because we also had problems with U23s.

"We started with 13/14 players [on Sunday] and today we had training with 16 players and more young players."

Conte also highlighted the more long-term issues that Covid will have on players in football. 

"The situation has not changed so much. Players are back in training and other players are continuing to be selected. Those players who are back in training they need time to find the right physical condition.

"The Covid is not only 10 days and many times he brings with this virus a situation that you make your body not so strong. For this reason, you have players injured after Covid."

Further along in the press conference, he touched on this issue more.

"This is the big problem that we must be good to face in the future. To bring these players affected by Covid to be fit and avoid injuries. This could be a big problem in the future. Not the ten days.

After ten days you have players available but then you have to pay attention to the way to train, whether the body is ready to work in a good way. You have to pay attention, moderate the training to avoid injuries. This is the big problem, not only for Tottenham but for other clubs with Covid-hit players."

  • On Leicester 

Conte, to the surprise of many, actually confirmed that Spurs did request for the game to be postponed. 

"The Premier League did not want to postpone the game against Leicester. Maybe because we have to play Burnley and Brighton and had postponed two games before."

The Italian manager also shed some light on how Spurs will look against Leicester, suggesting that it is a chance for squad players to prove themselves. 

"I think this type of situation to have so many players away with covid give chance, give opportunity for all the players to show me they're good and that they deserve to continue to stay for Tottenham. 

"I think this is a big chance you need the whole squad. You need to give opportunity. In this month, they didn't play so much.

"We have players positives, surely. For sure some players tomorrow they can’t play. As I said before, players are back in training and today two players are back in training for the first time. Yesterday another player, but as you know well, they need to be fit to play.

Surely tomorrow I’ll put these players on the bench for 15-20 minutes at the end. They have in their legs 20 or 25 minutes."

  • On Rennes situation

Another situation that is bubbling is the Europa League Conference match against Rennes match, which was cancelled last Thursday. The match is essentially a play-off for qualification from Tottenham's point of view. 

However, with their winter break coming, both clubs have failed to come up with a date for the fixture and the fate is now in UEFA's hands. 

Conte was firm on the situation; he made it clear that Spurs and himself want to play the game again. 

"We want to play the game. Tottenham deserves to play the game and the last game of this group.

"I think it's a really strange situation. When the government decides to close our training ground and we cannot train and it's for this reason we cannot play, not another reason.

"We don't have fault. We deserve to play this game and try to go to the next round."