Antonio Conte slams Tottenham’s ‘crazy’ fixture pile-up as Spurs prepare for their return to Champions League action


ANTONIO CONTE urged Tottenham to put more pressure on Premier League chiefs to lighten their “crazy” fixture load.

Spurs begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night at home to Marseille — having already played three times in six days last week.

Conte is not happy with Tottenham's schedule in the coming months


Conte is not happy with Tottenham’s schedule in the coming monthsCredit: PA

The clash against the French side sparks a run of 17 matches in just ten weeks before the World Cup in Qatar.

And worried boss Conte said: “To see this schedule is incredible.

“It’s just crazy because we played three games in six days against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham.

“I think maybe this is the first time in my career I see a schedule like this.

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“Honestly, I try to check the schedule of the other teams and I have seen that in this situation, Tottenham they penalise a lot — they penalise a lot our club and our team.

“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 also speak to the Premier League.

“We have to pay attention when there is this type of schedule.

“One day more, one day less, can change totally your life and you can drop points.

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“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 one that wants to fight for something important. I think we can do much better for the future.”

The hectic schedule will hardly help as Conte seeks to improve a relatively poor personal record in the Champions League.

He may have won the Serie A title four times as well as the Premier League, but the Italian has never been past the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.

The ex-Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan chief has only been out of the group stage twice in his five managerial campaigns — winning just 12 of his 34 games.

Conte, who lost the 2020 Europa League final to Sevilla with Inter, badly wants to succeed in Europe.

But he downplayed Tottenham’s prospects compared to the competition’s big beasts.

Conte added: “For sure, the story of a lot of clubs in this competition is really, really big.

“To be at the same level, in this moment, is unthinkable for Spurs.

“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.”

Keeper Hugo Lloris has celebrated a decade at Spurs but is yet to win a trophy with the club, coming closest in 2019 when they lost the Champions League final to Liverpool.

Asked if he still had the hunger to win that first medal with Tottenham, the French World Cup winner, 35, replied: “I’m still looking for it.

“And I believe we are capable of it, but it’s going to demand a lot of effort, a lot of work. I feel and believe we are going in the right direction. But there are a lot of competitive clubs in England and in Europe. So that’s why we need to go step by step.”

Meanwhile, Spurs have been boosted by a rule change which means that Welsh star Ben Davies now counts as “homegrown” in Europe.

Players trained in Wales, as Davies was with Swansea, were previously counted as foreign for Uefa competitions.


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But the recent switch means no overseas players will be left out of Tottenham’s Champions League squad — unlike back in 2019 when Argentine centre-back Juan Foyth had to be omitted.

TOTTENHAM (likely): Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal, Hojbjerg, Bissouma, Perisic, Kulusevski, Kane, Son.


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