Antonio Conte insists he is “100 per cent and more” committed to Tottenham as speculation persists over his future next season.
Conte was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor in November and has transformed Spurs’ fortunes, lifting them from ninth to fifth in the Premier League with two games to play.
Tottenham sit just a point behind fierce rivals Arsenal after winning 3-0 against Mikel Arteta’s side on Thursday, their biggest league win over the Gunners since April 1983 (5-0).
However, questions continue to surround the future of Conte, who has been linked with the Paris Saint-German job should Mauricio Pochettino be dismissed for his Champions League failures.
But the Italian appears set on staying put at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“From the moment I came into the club – and in every club I worked in in the past – I go totally with my heart, mind and head,” he told reporters.
“Totally, 100 per cent and more. This is my characteristic. I’m a passionate person. I think I showed this passion. I think to see me afterwards sometimes on TV, it’s not simple to see me in this way. I’m very passionate, I’m this way. I like to go totally into the club where I work.
“I know that only in this way I’m able to give everything. And also to find the way to receive everything from my players, my club and the fans.
“Because if I’m the first person to give 200 per cent, then for sure I can ask for this [in return].”
8 – With two goals against Arsenal last night, Harry Kane became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League seasons against a single opponent:
2 in 2014-15
2 in 2015-16
2 in 2016-17
1 in 2017-18
2 in 2018-19
1 in 2019-20
1 in 2020-21
2 in 2021-22
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 13, 2022
The expectation is that Conte will remain in charge should Spurs seal Champions League football next term, and Tottenham can move into the top four with victory over Burnley on Sunday.
With Arsenal not in action at Newcastle United until Monday, Spurs can look to seize the initiative. But relegation-threatened Burnley will prove a challenge given they defeated Conte’s side 1-0 in the reverse fixture.
That loss at Turf Moor led Conte to explode in a post-match interview where he questioned whether he was up to the task, but he later suggested this was to rally his players.
“I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you’re used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong,” he said of his outburst.
“I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn’t understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well I was the crazy one.
“Sometimes coaches have a strategy, and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick.
“Myself was the first person because I hit myself. And then the others. Because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to be the manager. The manager has to address the situation.
“At the time I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion, no one could think with two games to go Tottenham could fight for the Champions League.
“Instead, now, we are there, and from that step, we improved a lot. Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together.”
Should Burnley win again, they would become just the fourth side to complete a top-flight double over a team coached by Conte, after Sampdoria (2012-13 v Juventus), Manchester City (2017-18 v Chelsea) and Juventus (2019-20 v Inter).
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