Antonio Conte has admitted a sense of frustration at Tottenham’s current fitness and injury problems in North London.
Kulusevski is nursing a hamstring problem and has not featured for Tottenham since last month’s international break. Conte has been short of attacking options, with Richarlison also going down with a calf injury in the win over Eintracht Frankfurt two weeks ago.
In addition, both Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also missed out on Tottenham’s clash against Newcastle on Sunday owing to fatigue, and Spurs certainly felt the pair’s absence as they crashed to their first home defeat of the campaign.
Speaking after the game, Conte explained that even Oliver Skipp and Lucas Moura were also not fit enough to play 90 minutes against the Magpies.
The Tottenham head coach told Football.London after their 2-1 loss: “For Deki, honestly, for Deki, our expectation was to have him recovered much earlier.
“Instead, the situation was worse, and we needed to wait. Lucas Moura started the season with this problem in his tendon, and now he’s trying to recover a good physical condition.
“For Skippy, it’s the first game since January. (Laughs) When you put all this together, we have to have experience. Okay, you have to have experience.
“In this moment, it’s very important for me to cope with this difficult moment and to have experience and try to go until November in the best possible way. For this reason, we need to be focused on recovering in two days.”
Conte expressed his frustration at the fact that he does not have the options at his disposal to rotate his squad, as matches come thick and fast over the next few weeks.
He added: “For sure, there are players that need to rest for two days to recover because we have players who, for them, this was seven games in a row, and we don’t have the possibility to make rotation in this moment.
“Our target now has to be to try on Wednesday to win the game because to go to the next round is a good opportunity for us.
“I know it will be difficult, but we have the possibility to do it and then to try to manage the situation until the last game in November, then there is the World Cup, and we will see what happens.”
Spurs Web Opinion
This is a vicious cycle as the more injuries we have, the less Conte can rotate and thus the more players will pick up injuries through accumulated fatigue. That is especially a concern in a campaign like this one where the schedule is extremely cramped due to the World Cup being played mid-season.
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