‘Give teams a proper hiding’ – Pundit backs Conte training sessions to propel Spurs forwards

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Antonio Conte
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Jamie O’Hara believes the intensive fitness work the Tottenham squad are being put through in pre-season will hold the Spurs players in good stead when the campaign gets underway.

Antonio Conte and his coaching staff have long been famed for the uncompromising fitness routine they put the players through during pre-season.

Thanks to Tottenham’s open training session in South Korea last week, the world got a glimpse of how demanding the Italian’s methods are, as the players were made to run 42 pitch lengths at the end of a 90-minute training session in the 30-degree heat (Daily Mail).

Several Spurs stars, including the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, collapsed to the ground during the session before picking themselves up and soldiering on.

O’Hara insisted that with a full pre-season under their belt, Conte’s men would be difficult to stop during the 2022/23 season.

The former Spurs midfielder told Grosvenor Sport: “Pre-season has got underway for Spurs and it’s been a good start.

“The boys are looking fit, I’ve even seen some of them passing out… But Conte is putting them through their paces. They’re going to be strong, they’re going to be fit.

“You’ve got to remember Conte came in last season, got them into the top four and didn’t even have a pre-season. So imagine this team with a proper pre-season with him in charge. We could be looking at something special.

“I’m really excited and once this team gels together and he gets out of them what he wants, the world is their oyster.”

While O’Hara suggested that Conte’s uncompromising fitness work could increase the risk of injuries, he insisted that, on the whole, the players would be better for it.

He added: “Conte’s pre-season training sessions have been quite hardcore. Pre-seasons in the modern game are a lot more relaxed, getting players going and then building them up.

“But it looks like Conte has gone in hard on them and they’re training at the maximum already. You’ve got to be careful that you don’t pick up injuries as the lads have had a lot of time off. But they know what they’re doing.

“You’re talking about Tottenham with some of the best coaching staff in the world now.

“It’s good to see because the one thing we said last season was Spurs ran out of steam, they didn’t play for 90 minutes. I don’t think you’ll see that next season.

“I think you’ll see a Tottenham team going out every week fit as a fiddle and really giving teams a proper hiding. They will get the best out of them, and this team, you get them fit and with the quality they possess, it’s going to be exciting.

“You find out characters as well. That’s the biggest thing in pre-season. Conte will be thinking, ‘who’s going to run through a brick wall for me? I’m going to push them right to the limit and who’s going to go over that line where you’re physically sick?’

“You learn more about characters than fitness, and that’s probably what he’s figuring out as well. A lot of managers do that in pre-season to see who they can rely on. We can all play good football when we’re fit, but who can produce when you’re tired?”

Spurs Web Opinion

O’Hara’s final point about mental toughness is the crucial one when it comes to this type of intense physical work. It is not only intended to make players physically fit but to also make them mentally tough enough to push through the pain barrier and learn what their bodies are capable of.

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