ntonio Conte has told his Tottenham players to get in shape and warned he will know if they cheat on his new strict diet.
Conte asked the team to eat more professionally, encouraging them to ditch condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise and heavy foods in favor of healthier meals and more fruit.
The Italian also asked the chefs at Hotspur Way, the Enfield club’s training base, to use less butter, oil and fat in their cooking.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s visit to Leeds, the head coach stressed the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including getting enough sleep, and said he will know if players break his rules at home .
“I can see the nutritionist’s results and I can see if they are OK or not OK and maybe not well outside of the training facility,” Conte said.
“It’s part of improving the players in many aspects and making them understand: the pitch and the game are just the last part of your job.
“You have to prepare your body and your mind. Also your heart and your passion for doing it.
“I did it not only at Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan, but also when I was in Serie B with Bari and Siena.
“I consider good nutrition and a good attitude to be very, very important because, for the players, it’s not just important [to work in] training or games.
“You have to prepare yourself in the best possible way – I think sleeping is very important, eating well is very important. I consider that having good nutrition is very important because these two aspects allow the player to recover quickly.
“If you can recover quickly, you are ready to work really hard and also avoid injury. Being professional means having all of these situations in mind.
Tottenham’s side were among the fittest in the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino, but some players have fallen in bad shape after the Argentine’s sacking two years ago.
Jose Mourinho reduced the work of fitness and sports science to training, believing players were responsible for keeping fit for matches.
Mourinho’s permanent successor Nuno Espirito Santo was tasked with improving the players’ fitness and discipline in training but ultimately failed, with Spurs covering the least amount of ground of any Premier League side when ‘he was sacked earlier this month.
Conte joins Spurs with a reputation for working his players as hard as any manager in the world and is believed to believe some of the squad are overweight.
“At Chelsea I did exactly the same,” Conte continued. “We talked [to the players] on good food, eat well. It is a must. In each club, I had a nutritionist.
“This aspect is important because [the players] must remain the correct weight. You need to have good fat and good muscles.
“It’s part of our job and part of the player’s job. Being professional means taking care of your body. If you do this, you risk less injury and you are ready to face the training because sometimes the training is difficult.
“Obviously, I also like to talk [to the players] about good nutrition and I spoke with the nutritionist.
Meanwhile, Conte said he was taking the chance to finally work with Harry Kane, having wanted to sign the Spurs talisman while he was at Chelsea.
In 2017, Conte admitted that Kane was the striker he loved working with the most, but now he says every manager in the world feels the same.
“I think every manager, every manager wants to sign Harry Kane because we’re talking about a better player and now I’m taking advantage of the fact that I’m in the right place to take advantage of Harry,” said Conte.
“He’s a Tottenham forward and now I have the opportunity to work with him and exploit his characteristics, quality and potential.”