Sign up to Miguel Delaney’s Reading the Game newsletter sent straight to your inbox for free
Sign up to Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly newsletter
Antonio Conte will be involved in team selection for Tottenham’s fixture with Manchester City and has been watching training back despite recovering from surgery on Wednesday.
The Spurs boss is currently in Italy after he was forced to have his gallballder removed having been diagnosed with cholecystitis.
Conte was on the touchline during Saturday’s 3-0 win at Preston, but was not his usual animated self and severe abdominal pain forced him to have surgery in his home country this week.
Assistant Cristian Stellini admitted on Friday doctors will make the final decision on whether or not Conte can attend Sunday’s clash with Manchester City but regardless the Italian will still have an impact on the Premier League fixture.
“We will do selection together,” Stellini revealed.
“Yeah, because Antonio is not here to feel the training and everything so I will explain it to him and we will decide it together.
“We record the training so he can watch the training and analyse the training but only after.
“I have a special relationship with the players because I am an assistant, so I can use that special relationship with them to force them to give their best.
“This is the kind of coach I can be for the next week and the next game.
“I cannot change myself because I am in charge.”
If Conte is not present on the touchline, Stellini and the rest of the coaching staff will be confronted with a similar challenge to what they experienced away to Marseille in November.
It was Stellini and first-team coach Ryan Mason largely tasked with leading the team in the absence of the suspended Conte, who watched from the stand as Tottenham recovered from a half-time deficit to win 2-1 and progress into the Champions League knock-out stages.
Stellini again expects to lean heavily on former Spurs player Mason, a veteran of seven matches in charge of his boyhood club during the 2020-21 campaign.
“It was a great experience and we want to live the same experience,” Stellini said of the Marseille win.
“But I was not alone in that moment. I had Ryan Mason next to me and I have Ryan also with me now.
“He’s very important for the team, very important for me and he’s very important for the club so I’m not alone. I have all the staff with me.”
Despite Spurs’ impressive record against champions City, Stellini warned Pep Guardiola’s side could be a wounded animal given they have lost three of their last five matches in all competitions.
“You have to be perfect if you want the possibility to win this type of game against this type of team. You have to be perfect in their box and in our box,” he admitted.
“They are Manchester City and no different from the past. When a big beast has a problem, you have to be more worried because they react so we know it will be difficult but we feel we can do it.”