Antonio Conte agreed with Richarlison’s assessment that he has had a “s**t” first season at Tottenham after the Brazilian striker’s frustrated reaction to Wednesday’s Champions League defeat against AC Milan.

Richarlison, a club-record £60m signing from Everton last summer, came on for the final 20 minutes against Milan and stated afterwards that he has not been given “enough minutes” to prove himself since joining the club.

Although Son Heung-min has struggled badly for form since winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot last May he has started the majority of Spurs’ Premier League matches, with Richarlison limited to just seven starts in 17 league appearances.

The Brazil international has only scored twice in 25 appearances for the club, both of which came in a 2-0 win against Marseille in September, and Conte highlighted the striker’s disappointing goal return ahead of Spurs’ game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

“First of all, I watched the interview of Richarlison. He didn’t criticise me. He said ‘my season is s**t’ and it’s right because his season is not good because he had a lot of injuries,” Conte said.

“He started well with us, he had injuries in the Champions League. Then he went to the World Cup and had other injuries, a serious [one] and he stayed one month out. And then other injuries.

“He scored zero goals with us, only two goals in the Champions League [laughing]. I think that the guy was really honest to tell that his season is not good. But our season is not finished and he has the time to recover and if he deserves to play I will give him the opportunity. Otherwise, we’ll play another player.

“If you ask me for the rest of the interview, I think that the guy understood very well he made a mistake. When you speak with “I, I, I” and not with “us” it means that you are thinking only to yourself, that you are selfish.

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“And for this reason, I repeat to my players if you want to build something important, if you want to try to fight something important, if you want to try to be competitive to win a trophy, you have to speak with “we” not with “I”.

“But I repeat, the guy understood very well his mistake. He apologised and for me, it was good because I had an opportunity to clarify for another time the imporantce of the spirit of the team because on the pitch and tactical is important, but the spirit, the desire to fight, the fire in your eyes is too important.”

Conte also revealed that Emerson Royal and Ivan Perisic missed training on Friday and will be assessed before the game against Forest, with Hugo Lloris, Rodrigo Bentancur, Yves Bissouma and Ryan Sessegnon all long-term absentees.

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