Antonio Conte forced to prepare for Liverpool using DUMMIES instead of players after Spurs’ Covid-19 outbreak

ANTONIO CONTE tried to get through Tottenham’s Covid crisis by using DUMMIES instead of players.

But the Spurs boss, whose team face Liverpool tomorrow, gave the mannequins the boot because they did not help his attempts at changing tactics.

The Italian saw games against Rennes and Brighton postponed, before Leicester called off Thursday’s home game with them.

Conte said: “To try something tactically, if you want to play a formation, you need 20 players and it was not simple to do this.

“I had to train with mannequins and I stopped.

“It was not easy. It’s not the same thing. Now, we are having full training sessions but, for sure, it wasn’t easy to face this situation and to train the players.

"To have 12 players was very difficult.”

Just two Spurs players are still sidelined with Covid but the team will lack match sharpness tomorrow.

Conte said: “In the last two weeks, for three days we didn’t have a training session and then we had a session with only ten or 12 players. Also, the Under-23s had Covid.”

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The Spurs boss also dodged the question when asked if he wanted the Liverpool game to go ahead.

He said: “We’re ready to do and follow what the Premier League decides. There are rules and we have to follow them and respect this.

“For sure the situation is not simple for all the teams. We’re prepared to play. It was the same against Leicester, the same against Rennes, the same in every game.”

Asked if he thinks players should be vaccinated, he said: “Honestly, this is a personal matter.

"I’ve been vaccinated — I’d like it if other people did the same but every single person has to take the best decision for himself.”

Conte plans to sit down with the club to discuss January transfer targets soon.

The expectation is that Spurs will do some business, with fringe players leaving and reinforcements brought in.

For sure, in the next days we’ll try to have a meeting to speak about the situation and see if there’s a way to improve the squad

The recent outbreak of Covid has delayed discussions with managing director of football Fabio Paratici.

But Conte added: “In this moment we’re not thinking about the transfer window — we’ve had many, many problems to face and try to solve.

“For sure, in the next days we’ll try to have a meeting to speak about the situation and see if there’s a way to improve the squad.

“In this moment, I’m making an evaluation about the whole squad.

“Covid will be a good opportunity for someone to show me they deserve to continue to play for Tottenham.”

Nine Spurs players contracted the virus and some of them remain in isolation, with others who are back in training still not ready to play.

Sergio Reguilon should be fit after a hamstring injury while Giovani Lo Celso is back from a knee issue.

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