Antonio Conte praised his players’ spirit and improvement as they battled a virus to put pressure on Arsenal in the hunt for fourth place.
Hugo Lloris kept a clean sheet against Burnley despite suffering from a sickness that also affected Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Winks, and backup goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, causing them to skip Saturday’s training session.
‘Hugo had a fever. But there was no way he could miss such a vital game,’ added Conte, who selected two backup goalkeepers on the bench.
‘It wasn’t easy. The doctor informed me yesterday that a few guys were experiencing gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and a fever.’
‘They demonstrated that they are quite professional and have a good understanding of the situation’. Although the players were not in peak physical condition, Hugo, our captain, never wanted to miss this game.’
Spurs rose to fourth place, two points ahead of Arsenal, who play at Newcastle on Monday. Harry Kane scored the lone goal, a contested penalty in first-half stoppage time.
‘Playing against Burnley is not simple,’ Conte stated. ‘They put our nerves to the test since three points were crucial’. To put some pressure on Arsenal, we needed to complete our objective and win.
‘We are well aware that playing against Newcastle is difficult, particularly after the appointment of a new manager.
‘They’re having a nice run, but it’s not an easy game.’ I’ll watch the game because I enjoy football and want to be entertained while suffering.’
Spurs will go into their last game at Norwich on Sunday with a possibility of finishing fourth, regardless of what happens at St James’ Park.
‘It’s a significant achievement,’ Conte added. ‘I haven’t forgotten our journey since November. I observed a squad that has made significant progress and, like Arsenal, deserves to compete in the Champions League.
‘Fighting for something meaningful is good for the team, the players, and the club.’ We’ll see how things go.