Antonio Conte has warned his Tottenham stars that no one is undroppable in the aftermath of their sloppy Champions League defeat at Sporting Lisbon. Conte’s side crashed to their first loss in eight games in all competitions this season as Sporting scored twice in stoppage-time to win 2-0 on Tuesday.
Although Tottenham had been in good form before their trip to Portugal, there have been concerns over the form of South Korea forward Son Heung-min. Son has failed to score a single goal this term after finishing as the Premier League’s joint top-scorer last season.
Harry Kane also missed several chances in the Sporting defeat and Conte was quick to make it clear he won’t tolerate sustained periods of poor form, even from his best players.
“There are no players that are undroppable. This has to be very clear,” Conte told reporters on Thursday. “If I am telling this it is only to protect my players and to give them the possibility to be, in every moment, at the top.
“Then you know very well you can play one game well, another you can score, another not, but my task is to try to protect my players and to protect the team. In the Champions League they are always massive games and for this reason I need to have all my players available.
“I need all my players available for rotation to be in every moment ready when I call them to play and to play well for the team, for the club, for the fans, for everybody.”
Conte was pleased to see Tottenham’s players were so angry after the loss and he called on them to use their frustration to fuel a bounce-back result when Leicester visit north London for Saturday’s Premier League clash.
“For this reason we have to be a bit angry, to try and have a good reaction, because now we have the possibility to play another game in the Premier League and for us it’s important to get a win,” he said.
“At the same time you know you’re playing against Leicester. We are talking about Brendan Rodgers, who is a really good manager, who won a lot in his career, so for this reason we have to pay great attention.”