Tottenham coach Antonio Conte believes that players have a right to decide whether or not to take the COVID vaccine.

The Italian coach has been forced to use mannequins in training following a COVID outbreak in the squad, which has seen nine first team players test positive for the virus in recent weeks, as well as a number of staff and under-23 players.

Ahead of tomorrow’s match against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Conte highlighted that he was ready to follow any rules imposed by the league, saying “My thoughts are we are ready to follow the rules and I think it’s the most important thing. If there are the rules, then for sure the rules have to be the same for all the teams.

“For this reason, we are ready to follow the rules and we are ready to play, and we’re ready to do what the others tell us to do.”

The Italian coach then gave his thoughts on the COVID vaccine, noting “Honestly, this is a personal matter the vaccination. I’ve been vaccinated and my family, my daughter and wife, they did the same. But for sure, this matter is a personal matter.

“I’d like that other people do the same but every single person has to take the best decision for himself. I’ve been vaccinated and also my family. We did the vaccination and I think in this moment it’s very important to have this type of solution to the problem.”

Despite the outbreak, Conte is still prepared for tomorrow’s tough match against Liverpool. “But as I said to you before, we’re ready to do and follow what the Premier League decides. In the past, I have seen that for example in this situation against Rennes, I’ve seen it was a big problem for us because we had many players with Covid.

“No-one wants to take a decision about this. I don’t remember that last week we had an outbreak with nine players with COVID, seven staff with COVID, with many, many U23 players with COVID. Then we’re expecting the decision about our game about Rennes.

“This for example. I repeat, there are rules and we have to follow them and respect this. We’re ready to do this. For sure the situation is not simple, easy for all the teams. We’re prepared to play every game. It was the same against Leicester, the same against Rennes, the same in every game they decided to postpone.”

He did not shy away from the fact that the COVID outbreak had heavily impacted his preparations and squad. “Yeah, after two weeks it’s not easy to answer this question, because in these two weeks, we faced COVID problems, and our training ground was closed for three days, and we didn’t train for three or four days.

“And we started to train with only one part of all the players, and now other players are back. But as you know very well, you don’t know the time that the players who had COVID need to recover to be fit. For sure to play is good, is good for us, because it’s two weeks that we’re not playing. But I repeat, I am ready to follow what they want to do.” He detailed.

Despite the outbreak and the effect on his squad, however, Conte did not want to impose his decision on the players. “Honestly, it’s not easy to answer this question. I think every single person, every single player or member of staff or the people at Tottenham or at other clubs, has to take the decision for himself.

“I took my decision, my family took their own decision. But I can’t force anyone to take a personal decision, because I think this is not right. For sure, it’s a moment that we are facing another pandemic, and we have to pay great attention. But I repeat, it’s very difficult to go into a situation or get in the head of another person.”

Finally, Conte highlighted the low morale in the squad following the COVID outbreak, saying “The morale was very, very down, also because we prepared and had training sessions to play games. We prepared for all these games and in two weeks, three times we didn’t play. For sure, the morale is down when this type of situation happens.

“For example yesterday, we were ready to play against Leicester. We were there and then before lunch they told us the game was postponed. Then lunch, another travel, when we arrived for another training session. It’s not easy.

“It’s also not easy to explain to the players and find the right energy when you’re prepared to play and the game is postponed. To come back, have another training session and today to prepare for another game vs Liverpool and you don’t know if you are able to play. It’s not simple, surely.

“If the morale is down, I think I can justify my players and the whole environment. But at the same time we’re ready to play on Sunday an important game against a really good, amazing team. With the difficulty we’re facing, we’re ready to play this game.”

One thought on “Conte offers his view on vaccines following COVID outbreak”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tickets Kit Collector