Antonio Conte has outlined his demands for Tanguy Ndombele, spoken on his delight at Harry Kane’s goalscoring return and has provided an injury update on Cristian Romero.
Tottenham face Leeds in the Premier League this weekend, as Conte seeks his first win since taking charge in north London, following a goalless draw with Everton before the international break.
The Italian’s task will be to extract more from a talented squad at Spurs, including record signing Ndombele who has flattered to deceive under three previous managers, Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo.
Conte praised the midfielder’s quality but fired a blunt warning of his demands for the France international, saying ‘it will be a mess’ if his players work as individuals rather than as a team.
“I have seen many managers struggle with his position,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference.
“He has the quality. He has to understand it is a team and he has to play into the team.
“It is important to do what the position asks you to do. We are working very hard. He has to work much more than the others.
“He has talent but he has to put it into the team for the team, not for the single player.
“Every single player has to know what he has to do. If every player just runs around the pitch, it will be a mess.”
Conte also discussed Harry Kane’s return to goalscoring form during the international break, after the England captain scored seven goals across just two fixtures with Albania and San Marino.
After a difficult start to the campaign that has delivered just one Premier League goal from nine starts, Conte is hopeful the 28-year-old can take confidence into his domestic form.
“Harry scored seven goals. To score is never easy. I am happy for him and the national team, now England is ready for the World Cup,” Conte said.
“It is a good achievement. You saw Italy, we are in the play-off. I am happy for Harry.
“We are talking about a world class striker. He is an important player for us. To score is a boost for him.
“I have the opportunity to know him much more. He wants to train very hard and improve. That is fantastic for me because my first task is to bring the players to another level. Many players can do this.”
Conte provided a further update on Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, the former having sustained a hamstring injury while on international duty with Argentina
“We have bad news about his injury,” said Conte.
“We spoke with the doctor, now is right to wait seven to 10 days for another scan to understand how long he needs to recover.
“Lo Celso didn’t come back perfect physically. Romero not available, Lo Celso I don’t know. The rest are fine.”