Christian Stellini reviews Tottenham Hotspur win against West Ham United
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Antonio Conte’s Tottenham assistant Cristian Stellini provided an update on the Italian head coach, who has been out of action after undergoing gallbladder surgery. Stellini is set to take charge once again against Chelsea for their crucial clash, but does not expect Conte to stay away for much longer and the north London side could expect him to return soon.
Conte has been recovering back home with his family in Turin following the surgery, as he initially returned to the touchline for games against Leicester and AC Milan, but then opted to fly back home to complete his recovery fully.
When asked if Conte could make a return against his former club on Sunday, Stellini replied: “No, I don’t think so [Conte back vs Chelsea],” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s not the moment. It’s very close though because I can feel his energy. We have a call three or four times a day and in the evening.
“We speak a lot and if we compare with when Antonio had the surgery three weeks ago he is completely involved. He can watch the training and the energy is completely different. He’s involved in every situation and every decision.”
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Stellini has overseen some impressive results since taking the top job on a temporary basis, prompting some to question whether he could become a head coach himself in the near future.
The coach, however, shut down talk of a promotion at Spurs or elsewhere. “I don’t know,” he said. “I enjoy a lot to be a coach in charge but when you take a decision you have to do your best. Sometimes I think about being a coach and it’s a dream. But I’m an assistant and that’s the reality. I feel I’m good in this job [as an assistant] to continue.”
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Stellini made the decision to drop Son Heung-min from the starting lineup in the 2-0 win over West Ham last time out, with supporters believing it was due to the forward’s disappointing form this season though he did get a goal off the bench against the Hammers.
The coach, however, confirmed that Son had been dealing with an issue that needed managing. “It was about conditioning,” Stellini explained. “Sonny had a problem that he’s had for a bit of time. Sometimes players need time to recover. We have a busy period coming up and we need everyone 100 per cent.”
Stellini confirmed that Spurs would have the same squad against West Ham to face Chelsea, as Rodrigo Bentancur is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after having surgery on his ACL.
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