Tottenham Hotspur assistant Cristian Stellini has sidestepped speculation about his future amid questions over Antonio Conte’s long-term position in north London, ahead of their Premier League clash with Leicester City.
Conte has only just returned to the club following a post-surgery absence, with Stellini steering the team to victory over Manchester City in his absence.
But his long-term position at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium remains something of a mystery, with many wondering if he will still be in his position come the start of next season.
Stellini however refused to be drawn on the matter, stating: “We never talk about that. We are so focused on the moment and the next game, the next training and the next step. In football, you cannot be relaxed if you have a contract or not. You have to work hard and when you approach the next game, you live this with energy because you want to win.
“This is our life, this is football, this is sport. You think about the next target and objective you want to achieve.”
Stellini also touched on Conte’s return to training earlier this week, adding: “We were so happy to have him back on the pitch this morning. He took time to hug every player. We didn’t speak about what he would do in the next match but we have time to be ready.”
Opposite number Brendan Rodgers meanwhile called on his players to draw upon the energy of their home supporters at the King Power Stadium ahead of their encounter with Spurs this weekend.
The Foxes have not won a home league match since defeating Leeds in October, with the need to generate some form on their own patch particularly pressing as the season enters its latter half.
“The supporters are everything in terms of galvanising the team,” said Rodgers. “You have to inspire the supporters, but last weekend we went behind and the supporters were still there.
“We want that to be the same at home. We want that intensity and passion. Having that connection is important.”
Having lost their last encounter 6-2, Leicester will be wary of the threat offered by Spurs, with Rodgers adding that he would be tempering his side’s restraint.
“You want to go after the game, but you have to be really careful against Tottenham in that aspect,” he said. “We scored goals and created more chances. If we can close the game, we have a great chance.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester – James Maddison
The England international has been directly involved in nine goals in his last nine Premier League starts (6 goals, 3 assists), picking up where he left off with a goal against Aston Villa on his return to the starting XI last time out.
Spurs – Son Heung-min
The South Korea forward has been directly involved in six goals in his last two Premier League games against Leicester (5 goals, 1 assist), coming off the bench to score a hat-trick in Spurs’ 6-2 win in the reverse fixture.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Leicester have kept just one clean sheet in their 16 Premier League home games against Tottenham, shipping at least once in each of the last 13 since a 3-0 win in September 1997.
– Tottenham have won their last four Premier League games against Leicester, their best winning run against the Foxes in their league history.
– Since Leicester’s return to the Premier League in 2014, their games against Tottenham have produced a total of 71 goals, the most of any fixture in the competition in that time.
– Tottenham won this exact fixture 3-2 last season, having found themselves behind still after 94:51, the latest a side has been trailing in a game they’ve gone on to win in Premier League history. Indeed, Spurs have conceded the first goal in each of their last two trips to the King Power but come back to win both (4-2 in 2020-21 & 3-2 in 2021-22).
– Leicester City picked up their first Premier League win since the competition resumed following the World Cup break last time out, scoring more goals in their 4-2 win over Aston Villa than they had in their five previous games (3).