Gian Piero Ventrone death affecting Tottenham every day, says Antonio Conte

Gian Piero Ventrone death affecting Tottenham every day, says Antonio Conte

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has revealed the sudden death of fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone last month has taken a heavy emotional toll on his squad.

Ventrone died at the start of October following a short illness, two days before Spurs' win over Brighton.

Conte's squad will play the last of 13 games in 43 days between the September internationals and the break for the World Cup when they host Leeds on Saturday, and the Italian said the loss of Ventrone, who was 61, has contributed to a difficult and gruelling spell.

"I want to be open and tell [you] that for us, in these 43 days, not only 13 games but a difficult emotional moment," Conte said. "To lose Gian Piero was terrible not only for me but for many players.

"Many players had a great relationship with him, I think that some had a big loss in his heart. Life is this. You have to face it, go forward and move on.

"About the situation, the work, we continue to work in the same way. Don't forget, I called Gian Piero when I was appointed at Tottenham because he was in China with [Fabio] Cannavaro and Fabio Capello. And only in the last year we started to work again.

"The work is always the same. For sure, there is a lack of human aspect, a lack of his experience, a lack of his relationship with the players. It was a big loss for us. But this is life and we have to move on.

"But Gian Piero for sure, in these 43 days, I think emotionally was really tough for us this period."

A wreath for Gian Piero Ventrone at Tottenham’s stadium. (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
A wreath for Gian Piero Ventrone at Tottenham’s stadium. (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Conte admitted on Wednesday after the Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest that Harry Kane, who has started every game this season, was "really, really tired" but insisted the strain on his players was more mental than physical.

"It's normal that the players that played many many games, or that played every game, are a bit tired," he said. "I don't think they're physically tired. I think more mentally you can be a bit tired.

"Because you play every three days and to prepare every game is difficult even for me and the staff. To prepare every game, every three days, in a so short period.

"It's normal that some players are tired but we have to finish in the best possible way.

"Tomorrow we have an important game and three points are vital. If we able to finish the first part of the season [in a position for] qualification for Champions League and be in top four, despite a lot of problems we had in 43 days, could be really good. It means the job we did is a good job."