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Team news ahead of Brighton - Antonio on Doherty, and Antonio!

Thu 14 April 2022, 15:00|Tottenham Hotspur

It’s not often pre-match team news kicks off with the Head Coach, but that was the situation as Antonio Conte spoke to Spurs TV and the wider media ahead of our Premier League clash at home against Brighton on Saturday (12.30pm).

Antonio tested positive for COVID-19 after our win at Aston Villa last Saturday, but explained that he was fine, and ready to take his place on the bench at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I’m fine, thanks,” Antonio told us on Thursday afternoon. “I had mild symptoms after the game against Aston Villa on Saturday, mild pain in the throat, then I wanted to have a COVID test, and I was positive.

“I’m fine now, I’m well, and it’s okay. I attended training sessions this week from a distance, because I didn’t want to take any risks with the players, for their safety. My staff did a really good job, I trust in my staff, they are well prepared. The situation is under control. I’ll be okay for Saturday. I’ll be on the bench, in my place.”

Meanwhile, Antonio had sympathy for Matt Doherty, ruled out of the rest of the season with a knee injury following a challenge by Matty Cash in the first half at Villa Park. Matt tried to carry on and re-joined the action twice after treatment but was clearly struggling.

“This is really bad news for us because, as you know well, Matthew was improving game by game and becoming a really important player for us,” said Antonio. “He had great confidence. But, in football, this kind of situation can happen, an injury, now we’ve lost him for the rest of the season.

“It’s a pity, a pity for him, and we are very disappointed. Now, we have to find the best solution. We have Emerson, Sergio Reguilon, Sessegnon in the squad, and we have to try to do our best until the end of the season.”

Asked in his pre-match press conference if Matt’s injury would require surgery, Antonio responded: “No, I think after the first visit of the doctor, the doctor said he could recover without surgery. But, for sure in this type of situation, it’s important to have different opinions, then to make the best decision. We are talking about seven, eight weeks to recover, and for this reason, his season has finished. It’s a pity, because he was an important player for us.”

Oliver Skipp (groin) remains sidelined with Japhet Tanganga (knee) out for the season.