Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has insisted that he wants to test his players’ physical limits by avoiding too much rotation for Tuesday’s clash with Southampton.
Conte is well aware of the demands on players over the Premier League’s festive period, following his stint with Chelsea. However, getting his Spurs players fitter and stronger has been one of his key tasks since taking over.
The Italian manager is looking to turn Tottenham around following two years of a stale run under previous managers.
Harry Kane and co. have taken to his methods well and remain unbeaten in the top flight since he took charge. What’s more, they have only conceded three goals in those six matches.
Two of those came against Liverpool last Sunday. As such, clean sheets have been a welcome addition, such as in the 3-0 Boxing Day win over Crystal Palace.
Conte therefore wants to keep the identity he is building in his team, despite the short turnaround.
“It is not easy for us, for every team to play after 48 hours is not simple,” the manager told The Independent at a press conference.
“When you have this type of situation if you have a strong squad it’s easier, because you can make rotation and try to give rest and have a fresher team.
“We will see tomorrow because I want to understand the real physical condition of my squad.
“It’s normal when you change many players that it’s not simple. You can have a fresh team on one hand but on the other you can lose a bit of identity.
“We will try and make the best decision but it won’t be easy.”
Conte could start Kane and fellow goalscorer against Palace Son Heung-min against the Saints, after bringing them off before full time in the 3-0 win.
Conte, Tottenham January transfer plans emerge
In other news, Conte is supposedly willing to let four of his first-team players leave in the January transfer window.
Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Joe Rodon and Matt Doherty are the quartet in question.
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Bergwijn has interest from Ajax, while Rodon and Doherty are lower down in the pecking order like Alli.
Alongside player exits, Tottenham will also reportedly step up the hunt for a new signing in the coming days.