Saturday, October 1, 2022

Conte staggered by ´crazy´ Spurs schedule ahead of Champions League return

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 6 Sep 2022

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Antonio Conte has criticised Tottenham’s fixture crunch in the run-up to the World Cup, stating it is the first time in his career he has seen such a “crazy” schedule.

The Premier League side get their Champions League campaign under was on Wednesday when they host Marseille, marking their return to the competition after two seasons away.

Coupled with English domestic commitments, they will play 17 games over the next nine and a half weeks, due to the mid-season staging of this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Reflecting on the calendar, Conte has been left stunned by the crush of clashes on his team’s schedule, and says he believes organisers can do better to avoid such issues.

“It’s crazy,” he stated at a pre-match press conference. “We played three games in six days against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham, and now we play three games against Marseille, [Manchester] City away [and] Sporting Lisbon away in six days.

“I think [this is the] first time in my career [I have] seen a schedule like this. I think we can do much better for the future.”

Conte added that Spurs’ return to the top competition in European club football was a chance to show further progress on a strong 2021-22 season.

“First of all, we are having a Champions League press conference for what we did last season,” he stated. “I think last season we did a fantastic job with the club and with the players.

“We are to enjoy this important competition in Europe. For sure, we want to play to try to do our best.

“We have to play with ambition and with great desire, with great will. I know very well this tournament is really difficult, it is the most difficult in the world.

“But at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to show we are going in the right way, that we are making a step forward and we want to try to improve and to give satisfaction to our fans and then to give satisfaction to ourselves.”

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