Despite Being Out, Antonio Conte Is Nominated For Premier League Manager Of The Month For February.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has been nominated for the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award for February despite being absent from the team while recovering from surgery.

Conte took a step back from coaching, having undergone an operation on his gallbladder, but made a quick return for two matches in February, only for them to go horribly wrong as they lost 4-1 to Leicester City in the Premier League and 1-0 away to AC Milan in the Champions League first leg round-of-16 clash.

Following the game against Milan, it was confirmed shortly that Conte would remain in Italy at his family home after a post-operation check, with assistant Cristian Stellini assuming charge in his absence.

Stellini was in the dugout for the wins in February over Manchester City (1-0), and London rivals West Ham (2-0), and Chelsea (2-0), maintaining his 100 percent record from four matches in charge.

The victories, got Spurs into the top four, although Newcastle has played two fewer games than Tottenham. They were disappointedly eliminated from the FA Cup fifth round game following a 1-0 loss at Sheffield United on Wednesday night.

When asked about his success, Stellini who has worked under Conte since 2019 at Inter Milan, still gave his boss the credit for his side’s wins, admitting he has been in touch with his manager every step of the way.

“The team react in this way and they take a lot of responsibility,” Stellini told reporters 

“Everyone, players that play and players that are sometimes not playing. This is why I am glad to stay here and to keep the chair of Antonio warm.”

Conte who is now likely to share the award with Stellini if he does win, has reportedly remained in constant contact with his assistant and the rest of the coaching staff, and maintained a leading say in picking the team and even making in-game decisions, such as substitutions.

For the award, based on club performance in the month, the Italian manager was nominated alongside Erik ten Hag of Man United, and Marco Silva of Fulham.

January's winner, Mikel Arteta of Arsenal, did not make the cut this time around, making space for a new winner.

Fans have until Monday 6 March to vote for their favourite, with a panel of experts also set to help decide the eventual winner.

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