Antonio Conte has warned his Tottenham strikers that they will have to get used to being rotated if the club is to make its way into the elite of world football.
The Italian decided to replace Son Heung-min with Richarlison from the start in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester City after the South Korean failed to score in his first eight appearances of the season.
That decision paid off when Son went off the bench to score a sensational hat-trick as Spurs beat Brendan Rodgers’ lower side 6-2.
Son became the first Tottenham player to score a Premier League hat-trick as a substitute, while he was only the seventh player ever to do so in the competition.
Conte said he will continue to reshuffle his pack as the season progresses and he wants his forwards to be ready to make their mark when called.
“People don’t understand that managing this type of situation is not easy for the coach,” said Conte. It’s not easy because sometimes you prefer to play with 13 players, but in some moments I have to make important decisions.
The players know very well that I want to win and every decision is for the best of the team, and also for the best of the player, to protect the players.
“We have just started this journey with the club. To have Richarlison up front, with Harry [Kane]Sonny, Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] and also Luca [Moura]then there is [Bryan] Gil, who is a good prospect and young, means that the situation gives me a chance to rotate.
“When we start playing after the break for the Nationals, 12 games in a row, for sure, I will rotate. The only thing I ask of my players is that they do not lose level when we rotate. We always want a strong team because we want to fight for every competition.
“We have just started, but if the players want to play for something important, to raise a trophy, they have to understand it. Otherwise they continue to play all the games, but they do not go to win anything.
“It has happened here in the past and I want to try to change it. I want to take this team to another level. I will try to do my best. But I’m not worried about that. For sure it’s not easy. It’s not easy, but I have to make the decision. best at all times.
“If you want to be in a team with ambition, you have to accept this type of situation. Otherwise you have to go to an average team, and then you are sure that you will play every game. And then it will be very difficult to raise a trophy in this way.”
Tottenham are away for north London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League shortly after their national team break, before visiting Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.