Conte demands Tottenham stability ahead of Champions League clash at Milan

By Sports Desk February 13, 2023

Antonio Conte urged Tottenham to find "stability" as his side search for a response to their Premier League hammering when they face Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Spurs overcame second-placed champions Manchester City in the English top flight but were stunned 4-1 by strugglers Leicester City a week later on Saturday.

Tottenham's next challenge sees them go to out-of-form Milan in the Champions League last 16 and Conte called on Spurs to recover at San Siro.

"I think we will get this answer tomorrow; it will be much easier finding the right answer tomorrow," Conte said at his pre-match press conference when asked why Spurs have struggled.

"Trying to forecast the future today is impossible. I think we are lacking that stability, which is always crucial. You need stability, you need consistency, you can't have these ups and downs.

"I am trying to work on this and focusing on not having ups and downs. England is not like Italy, the Premier League is not like Serie A, we have different cultures in these two leagues.

"In England, it is much more difficult to be focused and stay focused for every game. In Italy, it is easier.

"This stability is lacking this year. I always talk about it with my players. It is tough to keep concentration, it is challenging to stay focused all the time.

"We are working on that. Playing under pressure all the time is good for some players and bad for others. Sometimes players feel motivated other times feel so much under pressure that they can't perform.

"Maybe for a period they have a good performance, and then they collapse all of a sudden if they feel too much pressure."

Head coach Conte said his side are "working on" dealing with the increased pressure, though injuries are another crucial factor to Tottenham's success.

"We want to make our players more resilient but there are also external factors like injuries for very important players for us," Conte said after losing Rodrigo Bentancur, Yves Bissouma and captain Hugo Lloris to injury.

"Those injuries influence the team, influence the growing evolution of the league.

"You can be prepared for everything, you can be a tactical man, good strategies, good line-ups, you can have high-quality players but then if those high-quality players get injured then you need to change things. Every manager wishes to have the best players available."

Milan ended a seven-game winless run across all competitions with a 1-0 league victory over Torino on Friday to somewhat ease the mounting pressure on coach Stefano Pioli.

However, an unfavourable result in Europe will only add to calls for the removal of Pioli, who ended Milan's 11-year wait for the Scudetto last season with triumph in Serie A.

Conte believes managing in England and Italy comes with many different challenges and pressures, given his home country consider football not only a sport but as "war".

"I sometimes think also in my previous experience with Chelsea, the pressure is different between Italy and England," he added. 

"In Italy, you speak about football from Monday and you finish on Sunday. You speak only football and then you have a lot of television that speaks football and puts a lot of pressure.

"You are born in this way and you grow in this way, with this pressure, and you are used to living with this type of situation.

"In England, I think that there is an atmosphere that brings to enjoy football without a lot of pressure, because football is a sport and in Italy sometimes football is not only a sport, it is a war between the teams and the fans."

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