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Antonio Conte confirms all Tottenham players have tested negative for Covid ahead of West Ham clash

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Antonio Conte says all of Tottenham’s players are now testing negative for Covid, with none currently set to be in isolation for the Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham.

But Ryan Sessegnon has suffered another injury setback and is set to miss up to two weeks with a muscle problem sustained against Liverpool on Sunday.

Spurs were the first top flight club to suffer a serious Covid outbreak, with nine of Conte’s first team, several members of staff and many more Under-23 players testing positive.

Following three consecutive postponements, Spurs returned to action for the first time in two weeks with an encouraging 2-2 draw against Jurgen Klopp’s side and they host the Hammers on Wednesday night.

“About Covid situation, all the players are available, with one player [returning from isolation tomorrow],” Conte said. “They recovered from Covid and we have all the players now negative. It’s good news for us. But for sure with Covid you bring this virus with you for a bit of time.

“For sure many players at the moment are not so fit because they have to face this situation. The good news is we have all the players available.

“A little bad news that Ryan Sessegnon had a problem at the end of the game against Liverpool. He’s the only player, with Romero, is injured.

“Ten days to two weeks. He had a muscular problem at the end of the game against Liverpool. For sure, we have to find a good solution with Sess because I have seen in the past he has suffered a bit from this type of injury. So we have to find the right solution with the medical department. And also with the player.”

On Monday, Premier League clubs decided against a festive “circuit breaker” and after West Ham, Spurs host Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, visit Southampton on December 28 and face Watford on New Year’s Day.

“I’ll try to manage the situation very well,” Conte said. “We have many many games in a short time and it’s impossible to think we’ll go to play all the games with the same formation and players.

“It’s not realistic. I have to find the right solution to be competitive for every game and manage the Covid situation in the right way and give the possibility to rest, especially the players who had Covid and played the last game.

“I trust in my players and I will give the the chance to show me they deserve to stay here at this level.”

Dele Alli impressed against Liverpool on his first League start under Conte, offering a timely reminder of what he can offer after over two years of underwhelming displays.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Conte called for the consistency from the 25-year-old and says Dele’s performance on Sunday must be a “starting point” for a sustained period of form.

“With the formation we played versus Liverpool, I helped him,” Conte said. “Because he’s a midfielder and a No8. A midfield with three players, I think this is his proper role. He has to continue to show desire to stay here and to want to continue to deserve, especially, to stay here.

“The game against Liverpool I think has to be only a starting point. You can play well one game but I need to see continuity of performance. And I’d be the first person to be happy if we do with him this type of improvement.”

Eric Dier also caught the eye on Sunday with his distribution from the heart of the back three, and Conte backed him to become one of the best players in the world in the position.

“I think that Eric Dier can become one of the best players in the world in that position,” Conte said. “I think that position is perfect for him.

“For sure he needs to work, he needs to continue to improve, to understand very well the movement with the defensive line. He has to lead the defensive line because in that position you have to speak a lot because you have to stay in the middle, at the back where you can see everything.

‘I think he has great space for improvement and we are talking about a really good player, strong physically, with a good personality. Good technically because he was before a midfielder.

“This role is perfect for him and he has to continue this way because in this role he can become one of the best central defenders.”

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