Antonio Conte believes it is unfair to ask him whether Harry Kane is frustrated with Tottenham’s progress.
The head coach says there are reasons to be encouraged by how Spurs are developing, and he does not consider himself the person that should face questions about England captain Kane.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Premier League game against Manchester City, the club that had their eyes on Kane 18 months ago, Conte took issue when a reporter asked whether star striker Kane might be frustrated by a lack of investment and advances.
Tottenham sit fifth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United, needing a big second half of the season to stake a claim for Champions League football next term.
“When we organise the [press] conference with the club, you can ask,” Conte said. “You can ask this question to the club. Keep these questions for the future and I hope for you that this does happen one day so that you can make this question to the club.
“It’s not disrespectful to you, but I repeat we are always saying the same thing. Why do I always have to answer difficult questions and you try with this question or put me in difficulty with the club, with the environment?
“I hope you understand that I don’t want to create problems because I always say that I like the way that we are working here, what we are doing, and stop, because in the past I think that I said a lot.”
Kane is one short of matching Jimmy Greaves’ goals record for Spurs, which stands at 266, and two away from reaching 200 goals in the Premier League. He is under contract until the end of next season.
January 19, 2022…
A night that will live long in the memory pic.twitter.com/0N7MJdwXFu
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 19, 2023
Conte was also asked whether he might consider changing his formation or tactics. He has been favouring wing-backs and is not against switching to a different system, but the former Juventus boss believes the 3-4-3 shape is one that suits Tottenham the best for now.
“You have to know that when you put the best players on the pitch, you don’t have on the bench the possibility to change the game,” Conte said. “But in my career, I played with four [in defence] and I won two championships with 4-2-4.
“And then at Juventus, I started this way. At Chelsea, I started to play with the 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, and then I changed it because the characteristic of the players was not so good to play with four at the back.
“And when I arrived last season at Tottenham, I found the solution for the characteristic of the players. In my opinion, that this is the best solution for the characteristic of the players but in the future, probably, we can try but if we lose I’ll justify [it].”
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