Antonio Conte has marked Tottenham Hotspur’s return to the Champions League by advising his management that they must perform “far better” and fight for more favourable fixture schedules to give the team the best chance of victory.
Tottenham, who have played three Premier League games in six days, two of which were away from home, will begin a run of three Champions League games in six days against Marseille on Wednesday night.
Tottenham’s next two games are away from home, against Manchester City in the Premier League and Sporting Lisbon in Europe, which has displeased head coach Antonio Conte.
“Honestly, to see this schedule about Tottenham is incredible, it’s crazy because we played three games in six days against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham,” said Conte.
“Now we are playing after four days, but we are starting to play again three games, three important games against Marseille in the Champions League, City away and Sporting Lisbon away in six days.
“I think maybe this is the first time in my career to see a schedule like this. Honestly, I try to check the schedule of the other teams and I have seen that in this situation Tottenham they penalise a lot, they penalise a lot our club and our team.”
Chelsea and Manchester City, the Premier League’s other Champions League clubs, each played three domestic games in seven days, followed by three matches in eight days. Liverpool’s schedule has been slightly better than Tottenham’s, with three games in seven days followed by three more in six.
Conte added: “I think in this situation we are unlucky, but I think in the future, and also I spoke with the club, we have to pay great attention to speak also to the Premier League because we have to pay attention when there is this type of schedule.
“One day more, one day less can totally change your life and you can drop points. This is no good for a team like Tottenham. When you want to start to think as a winner, you have to take care of the details and the schedule is a detail that is very important for every club, especially for a club that wants to fight for something important. I think we can do much better for the future.”
Tottenham are favourites to progress from Champions League Group D, which, as well as Marseille, also features Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt, but Conte knows the challenge his team face to compete with the likes of holders Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.