Cristian Stellini expects a tough test against Chelsea today and revealed that he has studied Graham Potter closely since arriving at Tottenham.
Tottenham’s record against Chelsea over recent years has been poor and the Blues have dominated nearly all the encounters since Antonio Conte and his coaching staff took charge of the North London club 15 months ago.
The West London club come into the London derby in a poor run of form, being winless in their last ten games across all competitions but Stellini insisted that the Lilywhites are not underestimating the challenge that their rivals can pose.
Tottenham’s assistant first-team coach told Football.London: “We know very well that we struggle a lot against Chelsea in every game we played since we are here so we have to change this and maybe be more competitive in the game for 90 minutes.
“We have to think about us and our way to be better, our way and the target we want to reach. Not think about what the opponent can do or not do.
“A team like Chelsea can recover and win many games in a row, but we have to think about our game and not what happened after [with the difference in points].”
Things have not gone according to plan for Potter since he took over at Stamford Bridge back in September but Stellini praised the 47-year-old’s work, admitting to having studied his Brighton team closely.
The Italian said about the Chelsea boss: “Yes [he’s a good coach], I studied Potter since I arrived here because he was a manager that in Brighton last season, I follow Brighton a lot, because it surprised me the way they play, the way they change system many times and the way they were good to challenge with Potter.
“We played many games against them and every game was different so understand the decision he took last season was really interesting for me and for sure he is a great manager.”
Some reports over the last week have indicated that Potter is now on the verge of losing his job (90 min) but Stellini backed the former Seagulls boss to turn things around if he is given time to do so.
He added: “I don’t know about Chelsea but I know that every team, every club, every season is different. You have to take care and don’t go rushing in the way you want the team to get the result.
“The result sometimes depends not on how better you are at your job or how you are working well but maybe a different team needs more time.
“It depends. It’s not every time the coach and all the staff need to understand the perfect way and perfect time you need. Sometimes you have to be patient. You have to wait for the right moment, the result arrives also if you are not expecting.
“Sometimes you drop the perfect way and perfect pace your team play and then in one game, you’re fine. Last season we struggled a lot until February but after that the team changed.
“It is not every time the same, the coach has to wait the team to play and continue to work and be confident in his job.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Given the situation Chelsea find themselves in, it is imperative that we start on the front foot and put them under pressure early in the game.
If we score the first goal, there is every chance that the Chelsea players’ heads will drop.
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