Tottenham will just have to 'deal with' Conte absence in Marseille, says Hojbjerg

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Tottenham will simply have to "deal with the fact" Antonio Conte will not be with them when they face Marseille in Tuesday's crunch Champions League group-stage game.

That is according to Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who took over press conference duties along with assistant head coach Cristian Stellini after Conte decided not to attend following his red card at the end of the draw with Sporting CP last week.

The Spurs head coach was furious after Harry Kane's stoppage-time goal at 1-1 was ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside, and his reaction saw him sent off.

As a result, Conte will be banned from being on the touchline or in the dressing room for the crucial Group D clash with Marseille at Stade Velodrome.

"Of course, your head coach is a massive part of the team," Hojbjerg told reporters on Monday. "Luckily he has a very good staff and players who are very well aware of what he expects from them and we'll try the best to fill his role.

"Whether he'll hide in a laundry basket [referencing Jose Mourinho doing so at Chelsea in 2005 when banned], I don't know. I'd say no," he joked.

"He's a person who lives every game with great passion, with his heart. We need to make sure we're well-prepared, which we are. We have to deal with the fact that he's not on the sideline.

"For me it's not a difficult situation, it's more a different situation. We know what we have to do and realise the ambition. The focus is on the pitch and what we have to do."

Spurs lead the group heading into the final round of matches but know they must win to guarantee their passage to the last 16, with a draw only being enough should Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt also draw.

Marseille are bottom of the group, but will leapfrog Spurs with a home win, though Igor Tudor's side are winless in their past four games in all competitions (D1 L3).

"Our ambition is to go through. That's what we're playing for," Hojbjerg added. "It was a rollercoaster last week [against Sporting CP] but that doesn't help us now. We have the chance tomorrow to achieve our objective."

Stellini confirmed Spurs will still be without injured trio Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison and Cristian Romero, and outlined what the situation will be with Conte's involvement on the day.

"He will sit next to Gianluca [Conte, technical and analytics coach] for sure. I don't know where. He will be here at the stadium," Stellini said. "He will work with us until we arrive here and then we have to stop the communication and then he will stay close to Gianluca.

"We have prepared all the strategies and our strategies are clear. We have to play our match at the best and we all have to do something more to fill the gap."