23 February 2022

Maybe I am not so good – Antonio Conte appears to question his Tottenham future

23 February 2022

Antonio Conte appeared to question whether he is the right man to fix Tottenham’s problems after they fell to a 1-0 defeat to relegation-battling Burnley on Wednesday night.

The highs of Saturday’s 3-2 win away to Premier League leaders Manchester City were swept away as Ben Mee’s header gave the Clarets their first back-to-back wins in 13 months, moving Sean Dyche’s side to within two points of safety.

But for Tottenham, it was a fourth league defeat in five, keeping them in eighth place – the same position they were in when Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of November.

After the match, a dejected Conte said: “I don’t want to comment on the game, only the situation. In the last five games we lost four times. This is the reality, it’s not about the performances.

Antonio Conte’s side suffered another defeat (Ian Hodgson/PA) (PA Wire)

“This is the reality. No one deserves this type of situation, the club, me, the players, the fans, but this is the reality.

“I came here to try to improve the situation in Tottenham but maybe in this moment I am not so good. For me it’s very frustrating because I know we are working a lot and trying to get the best of every single player, but this reality is this.

“I am too honest to close my eyes…I think we will see how the situation is and make an assessment.”

Prior to their win at City, Spurs had lost to Chelsea, Southampton and Wolves, a run interrupted by a 3-1 win over Brighton in the FA Cup.

Though they are still only three points from fifth place with games in hand on West Ham above them, Conte said their form was closer to that of a side battling relegation.

I am too honest to close my eyes...I think we will see how the situation is and make an assessment

“I am not used to this type of situation,” he added. “The situation is not changing. Someone has to speak about the race for the top, but the reality is in the last five games we are fighting for the relegation zone.

“This is the truth…I don’t want to close my eyes. I have to take responsibility and I’m open to every decision because I want to help Tottenham. From the first day I arrived I want to help.

“I repeat: I am too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way, and also take my salary, it’s not right in this moment…

“I want to try to improve the situation and also to make assessment with the club because if we continue in this way, maybe we have to pay great attention because this league we can finish 10th, 12th, 13th the same way that when I arrive here, the same position.”

For Burnley, victory on the back of the 3-0 win at Brighton on Saturday appeared to vindicate Dyche’s belief that his side have never been far away from where they need to be.

The Clarets had won only one league game all season before the weekend but these two results have injected real hope at Turf Moor as Leeds, Everton and Brentford are drawn into the relegation scrap.

“It’s only a couple of wins, it’s not a done season, but it really layers up the belief in what we do,” Dyche added.

“Every season is tough, every season is a restart for us and there are points within a season where we restart.

“We did that against Arsenal (a 0-0 draw on January 23) and we’ve taken nine points from six games, four of them against what you might call top-four sides with four clean sheets.

“Now it’s about building on that. We had a win at Brighton which was very convincing but can you back it up? I thought we did that and I’m very, very pleased with that.”

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