Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte said he had nothing but respect for what Jurgen Klopp has achieved with Liverpool, saying the patience the Anfield side showed with the German is proof managers need time to create title winning teams.

Liverpool signed Klopp in 2015 when it was struggling to qualify for the Champions League and he turned things around, leading them to the three finals of Europe’s premier club competition, winning the trophy in 2019.

Klopp also delivered a long-awaited Premier League title to Liverpool and achieved the domestic cup double last season.

“I have great respect for Juergen because his story speaks for him. He has changed the face of Liverpool,” Conte told reporters on Friday ahead of Sunday’s game between the two sides.

“I remember very well Liverpool didn’t win for a long period. He needed four years to help Liverpool win again and for sure it shows it is important for the coach to have time. Liverpool can be a good example for us.”

Conte has finished a year at Spurs since taking over last November and the Italian said he was happy with the progress the club made, qualifying for the Champions League last season and sitting third in the standings this season despite injuries.

“We’re not talking about fringe players. Many times people forgot there are teams who can lose two or three players,” Conte said.

“Other teams, they pay a lot when you have these big injuries to important players and sometimes people like to talk and don’t understand what it means to play every three days with 13, 14 or 15 players.

“I think what we are doing is important and we are trying to manage the situation in the best possible way.”

Conte confirmed South Korea forward Son Heung-min was undergoing surgery on a facial fracture.

He added that Brazilian forward Richarlison and Argentine centre back Cristian Romero are unavailable for Sunday’s game while Lucas Moura is a doubt.

“(Rodrigo) Bentancur is much better and today was a part of training session. The same for (Dejan) Kulusevski, he had half a training session with us,” Conte added.

Source link