Antonio Conte calls on his Tottenham bosses to plead with the Premier League for a kinder fixture schedule… as the Italian insists it’s ‘crazy’ that his side are set to play three games in six days
- Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has pleaded for a lighter fixture schedule
- Spurs will play three games in less than a week for the second time this season
- They will travel to Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday
- They’ll also play Marseille and Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League
Antonio Conte wants his Tottenham bosses to lobby the Premier League for a kinder fixture schedule as his team embark on a ‘crazy’ period of three games in six days.
Spurs get their Champions League campaign underway on Wednesday when they host Marseille, managed by Conte’s former Juventus team-mate Igor Tudor.
The clash will be Tottenham’s first of three in less than a week; they travel to Manchester City on Saturday before flying to Portugal to face Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night.
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has asked for a kinder fixture schedule for his side
Spurs will play three games in less than a week for the second time this season already
This comes after the north London club endured a similar stretch of three Premier League matches in six days – two of which were away from home.
And Conte has slammed his team’s schedule, saying: ‘Honestly, to see this schedule about Tottenham is incredible, it’s crazy because we played three games in six days against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham.
‘Now we are playing after four days, but we are starting to play again three games, three important games against Marseille in the Champions League, City away and Sporting Lisbon away in six days.
‘I think maybe this is the first time in my career to see a schedule like this. Honestly, I try to check the schedule of the other teams and I have seen that in this situation Tottenham are penalised a lot, they penalise a lot our club and our team.’
Tottenham are preparing to host French side Marseille in the Champions League tomorrow
Of the top-flight’s other Champions League representatives, Chelsea and Manchester City both played three domestic fixtures in seven days, before three matches in the next eight days.
Liverpool’s fixture list has been slightly easier than Tottenham’s because they played three games in seven days ahead of their own stretch of three more matches in six days.
Conte added: ‘I think in this situation we are unlucky, but I think in the future, and also I spoke with the club, we have to pay great attention to speak also to the Premier League because we have to pay attention when there is this type of schedule.
‘One day more, one day less can totally change your life and you can drop points. This is no good for a team like Tottenham. When you want to start to think as a winner, you have to take care of the details and the schedule is a detail that is very important for every club, especially for a club that wants to fight for something important. I think we can do much better for the future.’
Conte’s side are currently third in the Premier League and are one of two unbeaten sides
The very fact Spurs are preparing to welcome Champions League football back to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is almost a miracle in itself.
The club were heading for a season of mediocrity under Nuno Espirito Santo, but his sacking in November and the eventual appointment of Conte led to the club achieving what many believed was impossible when the Italian took over.
Spurs will fancy their chances of progressing into the knockout rounds; in addition to Marseille and Sporting, they’ll also face Eintracht Frankfurt in the group stages.
Nevertheless, Conte is under no illusion of the challenge that faces Tottenham as the club embark on their first Champions League campaign since the 2019/20 season.
Conte has previously said that it will be difficult for Harry Kane to play several times in a week
The former Chelsea boss added: ‘The people who know football very well understand you need a process, an important process, to work, on the pitch, outside the pitch. But at the same time you need to invest because in this competition you play against the teams with the best players and the best coaches.
‘For sure, the story of a lot of clubs in this competition is really really big. And to think, to be at the same level, at this moment, is unthinkable (for Tottenham) but it has to be for us a big push to try and improve and reduce the gap and try to fight for something important.
‘To win the Champions League, it means you are, every season, you are a team that lives in this competition, [it’s] your habitat, your natural habitat.
‘Other teams have to build and go step by step but with ambition. I think we have to try to grow with ambition. With the ambition to go in every game and fight, to get a win.’
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