Antonio Conte admits he is experiencing ‘crazy’ career first with Tottenham amid Lucas Moura update

Antonio Conte Tottenham July 2022

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has admitted that this season is the first time in his career he has experienced such a “crazy” schedule.

Spurs have enjoyed a strong start to the season and remain unbeaten following strong summer investment. Their raft of new signings have all played their part to hand Tottenham 14 points out of a possible 18.

But as is the case for top-six rivals such as Liverpool and Arsenal, the schedule gets tougher from now on. Indeed, Tottenham are back in the Champions League and face Marseille on Wednesday.

However, the unforgiving nature of the fixture list has been exacerbated this season by the World Cup.

Conte said: “Honestly to see this schedule about Tottenham is incredible. It’s crazy.

“We played three games in six days against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham, now we are playing after four days and then play three important games, vs Marseille, City away, Sporting Lisbon away in six days.

“Maybe first time in my career to see schedule like this.”

UEFA have responded to the Qatar tournament springing a break in the season by contracting their schedules. The six Champions League group stage matchdays will now take place over nine weeks instead of 12.

That means there is only one international break before the turn of the year – not the usual three.

Conte talks Tottenham Champions League ambition

Spurs are back in the Champions League after a three-year absence and struggles under former managers Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo.

European football is not a new thing at Spurs after recent Europa League and Europa Conference League duties.

But Conte – who has never won the Champions League despite his domestic success as a manager – has insisted Tottenham have ambitions to match Mauricio Pochettino’s record of reaching the final with Spurs in 2019.

“My ambition there is the will to have success in Europe,” the Italian said. “I know very well is difficult but at same time I have this ambition.”

Elsewhere in his latest press conference, Conte dismissed claims that Italian managers prefer winning league titles.

“No, I don’t think because we have Carlo Ancelotti and he lift Champions League with a lot of teams –  AC Milan, Real Madrid, Inter Milan really top team,” he said.

Spurs team news update

Conte confirmed that Lucas Moura – who has had links away from north London – is edging closer to a return to action after inflammation to his tendon.

“Moura is not available. I think tomorrow he starts to have a training session on the pitch,” the manager said of the Brazilian.

“He has inflammation in his tendon and I hope to recover him very soon as we need him up front.”

Tottenham’s last game in European competition saw them lose 2-1 to Mura in the Europa Conference League.

Tottenham back in the big time

Tottenham have had a mediocre record in European competition of late, but now is the time to set the record straight.

They have many of the same players who got all the way to the final and lost to Liverpool – chiefly Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

What’s more, Moura scored that memorable goal against Ajax to get Spurs to the semi-finals and Ben Davies is another who is still in the ranks.

However, Conte has also orchestrated great change to the team. New signings Richarlison and Yves Bissouma will be chomping at the bit to impress in their first taste of Champions League football.

Other additions such as Rodrigo Bentancur and Ivan Perisic have been there and played among Europe’s elite.

Spurs therefore have the perfect blend of experience and ambition to impress in the group stages. They may not go all the way and win it, but Conte can certainly put another marker down over his progress with some solid performances.

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