Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will be on the bench for his team’s game against Brighton on Saturday after his recent coronavirus outbreak.
The Italian tested positive following last weekend’s victory at Aston Villa after complaining of mild symptoms, but is now feeling better.
He has been involved in training camp this week for social distancing and will manage the team as normal this weekend.
“After the game against Aston Villa, the next day, I started to feel mild symptoms,” he said. “My throat was a bit sore so I asked to get a Covid test and it came back positive.
“I’m fine and fine. It must have been a strange week for me and also for the players, as they are used to training with me. Not just with my staff.
“But it’s okay because my staff is doing a great job. I attended the sessions remotely, and I think that on Saturday I will stay with my players on the bench.
“Given the time that has passed since my covid test, I think I could stay on the bench on Saturday.”
While Conte will be involved at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Matt Doherty will not be after the right-back was ruled out for the season with a knee injury sustained in the win at Villa.
He won’t have surgery, but he has no chance of recovering in time for the match.
“This is very bad news for us. You know very well the improvement of our team and it’s a shame because losing a player like him for the rest of the season is not good,” said Conte.
“But at the end of the season there are only seven games left and (Ryan) Sessegnon is ready and he’s on the team, and there’s Emerson (Royal) and (Sergio) Reguilon. We have to try to deal with it in the best possible way until the end of the season.
“I think that in the first visit with the doctor, the doctor said that you can recover without surgery, but in these types of situations it is important to have a different opinion and then make the best decision.
“Now we’re talking about seven, eight weeks before he recovers and that’s why his season is over. It’s a shame because Doherty was an important player for us.”
Spurs have gotten down to business in recent weeks and six wins in the last seven Premier League games have seen them break into the top four and become favorites for Champions League qualification.
Conte says watching this week’s action in Europe’s premier club competition whetted his appetite.
“This race is not easy, it is very important because finishing in the top four would mean a very good result for the club,” added Conte.
“Yesterday and two days ago we saw how important it is to play the Champions League, how fascinating these types of matches are and I’m sure my players are eager to be protagonists in this competition, but we know very well that there are other very strong teams. .
“Arsenal, United, West Ham, Wolverhampton are in this same race with us, but we want to fight to the end and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.
“You know very well that the Champions League is a competition in which all the clubs, all the players, all the coaches want to play.
“That is why it is important to have this great goal because (it can) change your life if next season you are going to play the Champions League instead of playing the Europa League, instead of playing the Conference League or instead you do not play anything in this type. of competition.
“This situation has to give us a big push and a lot of desire to finish the season in the best possible way”.