LONDON : Antonio Conte will not return to the sidelines for Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, assistant Cristian Stellini said, insisting the Italian coach will be back soon as he can “feel his energy”.
Conte is recovering from gallbladder surgery last month. He did come back to the touchline for two Spurs’ games two weeks ago, but then needed more time away to recuperate.
Stellini, who has a 100 per cent record in the four games he has taken charge of in all competitions, admitted his boss is not taking much of a break.
“It’s not the moment (for Conte to return),” Stellini told a news conference on Friday. “It’s very close though because I can feel his energy. We have a call three or four times a day and in the evening.
“We speak a lot and if we compare with when Antonio had the surgery three weeks ago he is completely involved. He can watch the training and the energy is completely different. He’s involved in every situation and every decision.”
Taking the team in Conte’s absence has also opened Stellini’s eyes to the possibility of becoming a manager full time one day.
“I enjoy a lot to be a coach in charge but when you take a decision you have to do your best,” Stellini added.
“Sometimes I think about being a coach and it’s a dream. But I’m an assistant and that’s the reality. I feel I’m good in this job (as an assistant) to continue.”
Spurs remain without Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur for the Chelsea clash, with the latter having undergone successful surgery on his ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Spain earlier this week.