Tottenham monitoring two suspected Covid-19 cases ahead of Chelsea clash, confirms Antonio Conte

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Tottenham monitoring two suspected Covid-19 cases ahead of Chelsea clash, confirms Antonio Conte
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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
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  • Antonio Conte
    Antonio Conte
    Italian association football player and manager

Tottenham are waiting on two suspected Covid-19 cases in their squad ahead of the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea.

Head coach Antonio Conte has confirmed that the club should discover on Tuesday the results of follow-up PCR tests on two members of his squad and whether any potential outbreak has spread.

Spurs were the first top-flight club to be hit with a major Covid outbreak in December and had consecutive matches postponed after nine first-team players returned positive tests.

“We are checking a couple of situations about Covid – and we’ll see,” Conte said on Monday.

“Two players but we’re not sure 100 percent if they’re going to miss the game. We didn’t [name individuals] in the past and we’ll continue in the same way.”

Premier League protocol is to test players and staff daily with lateral flow tests and conduct follow-up PCR tests, which give a more accurate reading, on any positive results.

Asked if Spurs were awaiting the results of PCR tests, Conte added: “Yeah but we have to check, and also during the day, to see if there are new positives or not. We’re checking a couple of situations. Then tomorrow we’ll see which players are available to play against Chelsea.”

Conte will return to Stamford Bridge for Wednesday’s semi-final first leg for first time since being sacked by Chelsea in July 2018, looking to guide Spurs to consecutive finals in the competition.

The Italian’s current club last won a trophy with the 2008 League Cup but Conte played down expectations, saying Spurs have to build a platform before they are ready to win silverware.

“For everyone it’s always very important to win trophies – for the club, for the players, for the managers,” Conte said.

“On one hand, I have to tell you this. On the other, I think you have to build to win trophies. You can’t win trophies by speaking and saying you want to win.

“You have to build something ready to win. At this moment, Chelsea are more ready than us to win. They won the Champions League last season!

“We have a lot of space for improvement, to be a team with aspirations to win. Then for sure, we’ll do everything to reach the final of this trophy. But I repeat: to use this verb ‘to win’ is more simple than winning.

“Because to win you have to build something important, be solid, have an important squad. Then you’re ready to win. Otherwise you have to hope! To hope in your work you’re doing and hope to do something outstanding.”

We did a really good job at Chelsea and I think I mustn’t prove anything to anyone.

Conte won the league title and FA Cup with the Blues, and has since guided Inter Milan to the Scudetto, and said he returns to West London with nothing to prove.

“I spent two seasons where I created a good relationship with players, staff, people who work at Chelsea,” he said.

“We did a really good job and I think in my position I mustn’t prove anything to anyone. I’m a manager that has experience and continues to have experience in my career and do important jobs at other teams.

“It’ll be a pleasure for me to come back to Stamford Bridge because I spent two important seasons with Chelsea and left a lot of good relationships with the players who continue to play for Chelsea. It’ll be good for me to see them.”

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