Antonio Conte has warned his Tottenham forwards that if the club is to force its way into the elite of world football, they will have to adjust to the rotation.
The Italian opted to replace Son Heung-min with Richarlison from the start in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City after the South Korean failed to score in his first eight games of the season.
That decision paid off well as Son came off the bench and scored a sensational hat-trick as Spurs beat Brendan Rodgers’ low point 6-2.
Son became the first Tottenham player to score a Premier League hat-trick as a substitute, while becoming just the seventh player overall to do so in the competition.
Conte said he will continue to shuffle his pack as the season progresses and wants his forwards to be ready to make an impact when challenged.
“People don’t understand that it’s not easy for the coach to deal with a situation like this,” 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 down this path with the club. Having Richarlison up front with Harry [Kane]Sonny, Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] and also Luke [Moura]then there is [Bryan] Gil being a good candidate and young means the situation gives me the opportunity to rotate.
“If we start playing after the international break, 12 games in a row, I will definitely rotate. The only thing I ask of my players is that they don’t lose the level when we rotate. We always want a strong team.” because we want to fight for every competition.
“We’ve only just started, but if the players want to play for something important, to lift a trophy, they have to understand that. Otherwise, they keep playing every game, but they don’t go to win anything. That’s clear. Sure .
“It’s happened here in the past and I want to try to change it. I want to take this team to another level. I’ll try to do my best. But I’m not worried about that. It’s certainly not easy. ” It’s not easy, but I have to make the best decision in every moment.
“If you want to stay in an ambitious team, you have to accept such situations. Otherwise you have to go to a middle team and then you are sure that you will play every game. And then it becomes very difficult to lift a trophy that way.”
Tottenham visit north London rivals Arsenal immediately after the international break in the Premier League before heading to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.