Antonio Conte wants Tottenham to get their north London derby disappointment out of their system when they visit Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Spurs slipped to their first Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday as goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka gave their arch-rivals Arsenal victory. “We have a chance to play another game. I think this is important,” said Spurs boss Conte at his pre-match press conference. “After a loss you want to play another game quickly, and we have this possibility tomorrow. We know very well the game will be very tough because we are playing against Eintracht Frankfurt, they won the Europa League last season.
“We are talking about one of the best teams in Germany. At the same time we want to play our cards here. I always say, this group, there is a great balance, and tomorrow it will be an important game for us, and also for them. Not decisive, but an important game.”
Spurs equalised against the Gunners through Harry Kane’s penalty, but a red card for Emerson Royal left them with an uphill struggle.
Some Tottenham fans have questioned Conte continuing to overlook summer signing Djed Spence, who is a potential replacement at right wing-back once Royal’s suspension kicks in.
“The fans have to be fans,” said Conte. “I understand they can think everything but I see every day what happens during the training session. I try to do the best for the team. If they trust me, then they trust me, but the choices are mine. If I didn’t decide to pick one player it’s maybe because he’s not ready.
“We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team. I’m not stupid, I don’t want to lose. I try to put the best team, to pick the best team. If they trust me it’s okay, if they don’t trust me then I’m the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham.”
Frankfurt will be without World Cup-winning playmaker Mario Gotze, who has an ankle injury. Coach Oliver Glasner said: “We’ve prepared well for our opponents. We showed the players longer videos as we didn’t have much time on the training ground. The atmosphere at this stadium is always great. I’m assuming it will be another great night. Both teams are in very good shape and level on points, and it’s a sell-out. Perfect conditions.”