Antonio Conte has admitted injuries to Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison has left Tottenham Hotspur in “big trouble” ahead of today’s encounter with Newcastle United.
Kulusevski was expected to be available at this stage after suffering a hamstring problem with Sweden last month, but a recent setback means he remains on the sidelines.
With Richarlison also unavailable with a calf injury, Conte conceded he was keeping everything key duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in shape during a busy period where they played once every three days until the 12th. november.
“For sure this type of situation creates a big, big difficulty,” he said.
“For me too I’m crossing my fingers because at the moment we have Harry and Sonny in good health. I hope they will continue to stay or I will have to think about putting my shoes on to play!
“We know with the club the difficulties of the season. Now to complain, I don’t think it’s fair or just. When you go to play the Champions League, especially if you play in the Premier League, you have to know that you are going to have a difficult season for injuries, for massive games, for players who get tired.
“Sometimes you can rest, sometimes you have to force the situation and risk injury. This situation is part of the process for a club like Tottenham to understand very well how to deal with this difficult situation.”
With the club’s season break just three weeks away, Conte urged the Spurs medical team to try and help Kulusevski recover as soon as possible.
He added: “I think we have to wait a little while to see him with us.
“Yeah (I’m worried) because his recovery was going well and then one day it got worse.
“Then when this type of situation happens you have to restart. You need time, but we have the medical service to deal with injury situations and they have to resolve the situation in a short time because you know that if you are good at solving the situation in a short time, it means points in the board.
Spurs suffered a humble 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday.
Conte described the Old Trafford club as a “monster” opponent in the build-up to the midweek fixture and warned Newcastle could soon be seen on the same terms due to their backing of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
“We must consider Newcastle for the present and for the future as a danger,” insisted the Italian.
“As a dangerous team for the top position, for the Champions League position, for the fight to win trophies. Of course, Newcastle also needed a bit of time, but they have the potential to to enter the market – and they did this too this summer – to become one of the best teams in England.
“For this reason, many clubs have to be very careful because, in my opinion, I see Newcastle in the future becoming really very dangerous.”