Conte defends a big team selection requirement and refuses to compare Tottenham with Chelsea

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Antonio Conte defended the call to start back-up goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and refused to compare his Tottenham team with Chelsea after their Carabao Cup defeat.

Spurs was extensively beaten over the two legs in the semifinals. The Blues was a class above them as they secured a 1-0 victory to advance as 3-0 overall victories to next month’s final at Wembley.

They were handed their lone goal as Gollini missed his shot from a corner and Antonio Rudiger headed in.

Despite that, Conte felt the Atalanta side were a positive player in the matches at both Stamford Bridge and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After the match, the Italian manager said: “I do not know about this [frustration at first choice Hugo Lloris not playing].

“I made the decision and I think Gollini played a good match. In the first match we lost 2-0 and in this match we only lost 1-0. I think we need to think about a situation that is more important than this.

“Pierluigi had always played in the Carabao Cup and Europa Conference League. I think it’s always important to give goalkeepers minutes and I think he deserved to get this chance and play an important match.

“I do not think we can compare the situations at Tottenham and Chelsea right now. It is not fair to compare. It is impossible to compare.”

After a first half where they rarely threatened, Tottenham fought back after the break. But in the end, they still did not do enough to score.

Conte still claimed: “I think the performance was much better than the performance in the first match.

“In the first half, we struggled a bit, especially the way of trying to push without the ball. In the second half the performance was good, the intensity was high.

“I think we deserved a better end result today. But I think Chelsea after two games deserved to reach the final of this competition.”

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Conte explains Ndombele’s decision

Another of Conte’s team selections, which was put under scrutiny, was the exclusion of Tanguy Ndombele from the squad.

The French midfielder was bubbled by Spurs supporters in their FA Cup match in the third round this weekend.

“It was a tactical decision, but before I make the decision, I will not make the decision if I do not consult the club. There is the club line and I have to follow the club line,” Conte explained.

Next up for Tottenham is a north London derby on Sunday, which their manager offered further concern over.

He said: “We have to regain some players. When we lose one, two or three players, we’re in a bit of trouble.”

READ MORE: Conte is willing to bring the old gentleman back to Tottenham as rival boss stamps authority


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