Antonio Conte has admitted the reason Tottenham’s intensity dropped in the second half against West Ham was due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Tottenham took a deserved 2-1 lead into half-time in the Carabao Cup quarter-final after goals from Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn.

While the home side started the second half well, they dropped deeper as the game went on and barely managed to string any counter-attacks together in the final 20 minutes.

However, the home side did manage to see out the win, preventing David Moyes’ side from fashion creating clear cut opportunities.

Conte has now admitted that several of the players who played against the Hammers were among those who tested positive for the virus.

The Spurs boss told Football.London after the 2-1 win: “In the second half at one point, we started to pay a bit for the Covid situations.

“Many players who played today had Covid and at one point in the game, the intensity dropped. For this reason, I made substitutions.”

Spurs have fixtures coming thick and fast as they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday before travelling to St Mary’s to take on Southampton on Tuesday.

Conte admitted he has to manage his players’ workloads carefully over the coming weeks by rotating his squad.

The Italian added: “It was good not to concede a goal, to make the semi-final but I know that we had to manage this situation also on Sunday and then Tuesday. This period will be very tough for us.

“We had an important problem like Covid and I have to try to manage. I see the positive aspects because in this situation.

“I’m giving the possibility, the chance to my players to show me they deserve to play for Tottenham, to stay here. This is a positive aspect for sure.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Even though we were sitting back and struggled to counter West Ham in the final 15 to 20 minutes, I was impressed with how switched on we were defensively. Apart from set-piece situations, the Hammers were restricted to speculative shots on goal from distance.

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