Antonio Conte re-energised has he returns for huge fixture

Antonio Conte re-energised has he returns for huge fixture

Tottenham Hotspur manager, Antonio Conte, is raring to go after being cleared by doctors to return to the dugout for his side’s huge Champions League tie with AC Milan tomorrow night. Conte underwent an emergency operation to remove his gallbladder at the beginning of February which has resulted in the Italian missing several Spurs matches.

After missing the 1-0 victory over Manchester City, Conte briefly returned to the dugout. However, after the first leg in Milan, the 53-year-old was told by doctors that he needed to rest further which meant that assistant manager, Cristian Stellini, was given the reigns on a temporary basis.

Stellini oversaw a mixed bag of results during his four games in charge of the first team. They enjoyed wins against Chelsea and West Ham but also got knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Sheffield United and lost last weekend away to Wolves.

The returning Conte is in high spirits, telling reporters:

“I have to still recover weight but for the rest I am OK. My feeling is good, I have a lot of energy and I will try to transfer my energy to my players because it is an important game for us. I wanted to come back after the game against Sheffield United but the doctor stopped me and said you have to listen to us and wait.

I wanted to come back early but in this case, I should respect the doctors because they were really worried after the game against Milan, and for this reason, I came back on Sunday. Now I am well and yesterday during the training session I had a lot of energy.”

The biggest game of Tottenham’s season

After getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United last week, the Champions League represents Tottenham’s final chance of winning a trophy this season. After losing 1-0 in the San Siro, Conte’s men know that they need to win the return leg by two goals if they are to progress through to the quarter-finals.

With Harry Kane’s future once again a hot topic amid interest from Manchester United, Conte will know the importance of going deep into the competition. If Spurs go trophyless once again, and miss out on the top four in the Premier League, then surely Kane will push for a move this summer. Talking about the magnitude of the match, Conte said:

“We live for these moments because when the pressure is going up, it means your level is going up. Don’t forget, last season we played in the Europa Conference League and this year it’s the Champions League. The pressure is normal, we have to live with this type of pressure.”

A happy squad

Sitting alongside Conte at the pre-match press conference was Son Heung-min. The Korean forward hasn’t been anywhere near his best this season but has said that the squad are delighted that their manager is back in the dugout. He said:

“I am glad the manager is sitting next to me. When he was not here the staff did a good job, but yesterday we could feel his energy and passion again. When he is on the touchline that will give us a boost and amazing energy.”

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