Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is furious with the club after their 3-3 draw against Southampton.
The Spurs had to settle for a point with the Saints on Saturday afternoon after leading 3-1 with less than fifteen minutes to play. Theo Walcott got Southampton’s second goal, before James Ward-Prowse converted an injury time penalty to ensure the points were shared.
The draw would have favored Liverpool, who are now seven points behind Tottenham but have two games left, in the battle for the top four. And Everton will also have been encouraged as they take on Spurs in their next game after the international break at Goodison Park.
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After the duel with St Mary’s, Conte launched into several rants about his players and the club as a whole. Football.London have fully transcribed Conte’s press conference, here’s a selection of what the Tottenham manager had to say.
A tough decision to take a penalty, but with a 3-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining, should your team draw that match?
“If we are going to discuss the penalty, it means we don’t want to see any other situations. Before the penalty it wasn’t a penalty for me. I stop, we close the situation. The worst situation is what happened on the field. What happened in the last few months, what happens in my second season.
“I think now is the right time to speak because I think after this performance, this is unacceptable to me. We win 3-1, control the game and you can concede two goals and take risks, because Fraser also made a fantastic save in one situation. I think it is much better to go into the problem because the problem is that we have shown for another time that we are not a team.
“We are 11 players who go on the field. I see selfish players, I see players who don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart.
“For today, I prefer to hide this situation and try to speak, try to improve the mind, the situation, with the words, with many situations. Since it involves a tactical or technical aspect, this is one situation. The most important thing if you want to become a strong team, if you want to become competitive, if you want to fight to win, is the desire, the fire that you need in your eyes, in your heart, and you have to have this at every moment to show. At any time.
“If I have to compare last season and this season, we have to improve, but now we are worse in this regard. If you are not a team, anything can happen at any time. Today is the last situation. Remember that we lost in the FA Cup to Sheffield United, who played with young players. We could go out of the FA Cup with a strong team. And then a lot of situations, I repeat, that we are not going to improve. And I’m not talking about the tactical aspect or the technical aspect.
“Being a team, being a team, being a team, that’s the most important thing. To understand that we are playing for the badge. We have to play to make our fans proud of us. We have to pay to show desire. The fire in your eyes to win. If you have this, you certainly won’t go out in the FA Cup. Today you win.
“We have to play to make our fans proud of us, we have to play to show desire. The fire in your eyes to win. If you have this you will definitely not go out in the FA Cup. And today we would win Maybe something could change earlier in the other games. But here we’ve been used to it for a long time. The club has the responsibility for the transfer market, every coach who has stayed here has the responsibility. And the players? The players? Where are the players? In my experience, I can tell you that if you want to be competitive, if you want to fight, you have to improve this aspect. And this aspect, I can tell you, is really, really low right now. And I only see 11 players playing for themselves.”
But does your future, the uncertainty….
“You find an alibi, another alibi. You try to find an excuse for the players. OK, keep doing this to find an excuse for the players. You only do this! You only do this. Apologies to the players. “But the players, maybe my future, then we lost confidence, they lost courage, they lost the team.” Apologies. Apologies. Excuse. Try to protect them every time.
“Bah. Come on, come on, come on. We are professional. The club pays us a lot of money. The players get money, I get money, you know? No excuse to be found or no spirit to show or a sense of belonging showing or not showing a sense of responsibility because we are showing this For me this is unacceptable because for me this is the first time in my career I have come across such a situation Until now I have not been able to change, not to to change, but compared to last season the situation got worse.”
Why is it happening?
“Why? Because they’re used to it here, they’re used to it. They don’t play for anything important yeah. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It’s easy this way. This is Tottenham’s story 20 years there’s the owner and they never won anything but why? The blame is only on the club, or any manager who stays here? I’ve seen the managers Tottenham had on the bench. You risk the disturb the figure of the manager and protect the other situation at any time.
“So far I’m trying to hide the situation, but now no, because I repeat that I don’t want to see what I saw today, because this is unacceptable and also unacceptable for the fans. They follow us, pay the ticket and to get it team another time to have this kind of performance is unacceptable, we have to think a lot about that.”
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