Why isn’t Antonio Conte at Tottenham vs Man City? Assistant Cristian Stellini takes charge of Spurs
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte will miss Sunday’s game against Manchester City as he continues to recover following surgery to remove his gallbladder.
Conte is still recuperating in Italy and his assistant Cristian Stellini will take charge of the team.
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Tottenham announced this week that Conte recently became unwell and had been suffering from “severe abdominal pain” which led to a diagnosis of cholecystitis.
It had been suggested Conte could travel back to London in time to watch the game from elsewhere in the stadium, most likely the director’s box, with a direct line to Stellini.
But he has not been deemed well enough to travel and Stellini will be in the dugout against City, when Spurs will look to close to within a point of the top four.
Speaking ahead of the game, Stellini said: “Antonio is well. He is recovering at home. We are sad because we have not the [OK] from the doctor to let Antonio come here and stay with us.
“So he will watch the game at home. He was involved until this morning, but we do not have a special communication here today. So me, Ryan [Mason] and all the staff are in charge.”
Asked who picked the team, Stellini said: “We spoke about the team but he left me the decision, because I managed training and it is very important in our methodology to look how the players are in training sessions. And the last two training sessions are very important. Antonio left me the decision.”
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris said: “Obviously we miss our manager but the coaching staff provide the best for the players to prepare as good as we can.”
Spurs have not put a timeframe on his recovery but said Conte would return “following a period of recuperation”.
The Italian confirmed the operation had been successful. “Thank you for your lovely messages," he wrote on social media. "My surgery has gone well and I’m already feeling better.
“Now it’s time to recover, I can’t wait to get back on the field with the team.”