Antonio Conte to return to Tottenham duty after Saturday’s clash with Wolves

Antonio Conte to return to Tottenham duty after Saturday’s clash with Wolves

Antonio Conte will again be absent when Tottenham visit Wolves this weekend but will return to work on Sunday.

Spurs head to Molineux following Wednesday’s frustrating 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United in the FA Cup, which looks set to extend the club’s trophy long drought.

Assistant Cristian Stellini had revealed after last week’s win over Chelsea that Conte would return “this week” but the Italian will miss one more match before he can return following surgery to remove his gallbladder on February 1.

“I said he would come back this week and straight after match against Wolves he will be in London and will be in charge again from Sunday,” Stellini revealed before he was asked why the Spurs manager could not return a day earlier.

“This is a question for the medical department because they decide the time schedule was one month.

“One month after the surgery stop is Saturday and they ask Antonio to come back Sunday so this is a question for the medical department.”

Conte’s absence will only worsen the low morale of Tottenham’s fanbase following another missed opportunity in midweek.

Although Spurs still have the Champions League to play for this season, it seems likely their wait for another trophy will go into a 16th year.

Tottenham remain in control of a top-four finish and while Stellini believes that would be regarded as success this term, he understands the frustration of the supporters.

Spurs look set to go another year without a trophy
Spurs look set to go another year without a trophy (Simon Marper/PA)

“Yes,” Stellini insisted when asked if a top-four finish would represent a successful season.

“You have to believe in that. You have to believe in that, believe in yourself and you can change the season in every moment like we did last season.

“Everyone want this (trophy). Everyone. Only the fans can expect every year. Only the fans need to be happy with the team, happy with the way the team play but we have to show into the pitch.

“We have to show with our job. This is the difference between us and the fans. We have to react immediately because that game was not good enough and we don’t want to be like this again.

“We don’t want to show this to the fans again but we have to create a good mentality in the reality, not only when we speak.

“Sometimes I feel that we speak too much about trophies and less about the mentality. We have to work on this aspect every day and fight against ourselves because when you approach a game like this (against Sheffield United), you have to fight against you if you think the game will be easy.

“Never a game – also in the FA Cup – will be easy if you play away because eight teams play in the quarter-final and five are not in the Premier League. It is not only for us but everyone.”

Spurs made six changes for their midweek game at Sheffield United with Harry Kane and World Cup-winner Cristian Romero left on the bench.

But Stellini insisted: “It is not about the team selection, it is about the approach, the mentality and the energy you put into the game.

“We had to be better in that time and we had to be better before the game, not after. If you feel hunger after the game, it is too late.”