Antonio Conte admits Harry Kane and Son Heung-min must expect time on the bench this season if Tottenham are to ‘reach a superior level’ despite the South Korean’s quickfire hat-trick against Leicester
- Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has promised to rotate his forward line
- Forward Son Heung-min was benched for the first time in two years yesterday
- Star forward Harry Kane has also been told that he will be rotated at points
- Tottenham beat Leicester 6-2 yesterday, with Son coming on to score a hat-trick
Antonio Conte has insisted if Tottenham are to reach a ‘superior level’ then hat-trick hero Son Heung-min and Harry Kane must be ready to spend time on the bench this season.
Son was dropped for Saturday’s visit of Leicester but responded in stunning fashion by netting a hat-trick in a 31-minute cameo as a substitute to end his eight-game goal drought in style.
While Kane has started every fixture this season, Conte has admitted in recent weeks his star forward will also have to be rotated due to the packed schedule, which will see Spurs play 12 games in seven weeks from October 1.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min will be benched by Antonio Conte on occasions this season
Conte has insisted his star forwards will need to be rested if Tottenham are to be successful
The Italian won major titles during his time at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan and warned following the 6-2 thrashing of Leicester there will be no compromising on his way of working.
‘My story speaks very clear. In every situation that I work, at the end I lift a trophy,’ Conte explained. ‘It means maybe my vision, my work, my idea of football has to give credit.
‘I think the club is really happy for what we are doing with the players, with the staff and for sure I don’t want compromise. I don’t accept compromise for anybody. This has to be very clear.
‘I want to bring this team to think of a superior level, not to stay in the middle. Not to stay at Tottenham because, ‘there I play every game, every game, every game’. If you think like this, you are not probably going to fight for something important in my opinion.
Son came off the bench to score a 13-minute hat-trick against Leicester yesterday afternoon
‘We have just started this path with the club. To have Richarlison up front, with Harry, Sonny, Deki (Dejan Kulusevski) and also Lucas (Moura), then there is Bryan Gil who is a good prospect and young, it means the situation gives me the possibility to have rotation.
‘In the first four games Richy was on the bench, then three games with Deki on the bench, today Sonny was on the bench. When we start to play after the international break 12 games in a row, for sure I will make rotation.
‘The only thing I ask of my players is to give me the possibility and don’t drop the level when we make this rotation. We always want a strong team because we want to fight for every competition.’
The South Korean was benched in a Premier League game for the first time in two years
Spurs are level on points with Manchester City after seven Premier League matches and remain unbeaten in the division.
A gruelling fixture list after the international break will test Tottenham’s squad depth and they were without Ben Davies on Saturday after he sustained an injury to his knee, which will rule him out of Wales commitments next week.
Conte hopes for no further injuries, adding: ‘We are 17 points after seven games. I think it was a really good start.
‘Now there is the international break. Fingers cross I hope for no more injuries because October we have 12 games in a row. Difficult games because we are talking Premier League, Champions League, Premier League, Champions League.’
Harry Kane (left), Richarlison (centre) and Dejan Kulusevski (right) will be rotated this year
Visiting Leicester suffered a sixth straight league loss to pile further pressure on Brendan Rodgers.
James Maddison offered support for his manager post-match and the Foxes boss is hopeful this break offers them the chance to reset.
Rodgers said: ‘Listen, the players, I love all of them. Since I’ve been here they’ve given me everything.
Brendan Rodgers (right) is under fire with his Leicester side bottom of the Premier League
‘It has been a real challenging summer and it is only probably in this last week I feel we have got sort of that rhythm back in our play, I think you saw that but we got punished.
‘Obviously I know the scoreline doesn’t look good but from a coaching perspective, I saw a lot of good moments. We can take that forward into the next game against Nottingham Forest game and have a reset now.
‘That Forest game is a big opportunity at home to get that first win and from that we have a real good run of fixtures where we can accumulate more points.’
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