Thursday, June 8, 2023

Conte: Outbursts are ´strategic´, not emotional

SoccerNews in FA Cup 1 Mar 2022


Antonio Conte insists his outburst following Tottenham’s recent loss to Burnley was “strategic” rather than emotional as he reiterated his commitment to the Premier League side.

The 52-year-old appeared to question his own future after last week’s 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor when stating he was “not good enough” to fix Spurs’ problems.

Conte, who signed an 18-month contract with Tottenham in November, later took aim at his squad on the back of a fourth defeat in five league matches.

That led to reports that the Italian could be heading for an early exit from Spurs, but he backtracked on those comments ahead of Saturday’s 4-0 win at Leeds United.

Conte has now further explained his remarks, admitting there is a specific intention behind what he says in news conferences.

“I think that you have to understand when there is a strategy or not and not only an emotional moment,” he said.

“It is not right to stay here and explain why I talk in a way and after three days I spoke in another way. 

“Maybe I can explain to you, every time we have a press conference there is a strategy behind it, not an emotional moment.

“I understood that was the right moment, after four defeats in five games and winning the game against Manchester City three days ago, to send the right message, a clear message to myself, the club and also the players.

“We have to know we are here to enjoy football, at the same time to improve ourselves, to ask to ourselves for 100 per cent commitment and desire and also to underline that a team like Tottenham does not exist to lose four games in five.

“If someone understood that my words were from an emotional moment, no. In that moment I sent a specific message to the whole environment and it has happened in the past, when I want to push the situation and the environment in the same direction, because I am seeing we can do better, it is not because it is an emotional moment, it is because there is a strategy behind it.

“Maybe I can explain to you, every time we have a press conference there is a strategy behind it, not an emotional moment.”

Tottenham moved back up to seventh with their morale-boosting victory at Elland Road, five points off fourth-placed Manchester United with two games in hand.

Spurs switch focus to the FA Cup on Tuesday with a fifth-round tie away at second-tier side Middlesbrough, who eliminated United on penalties in the previous round.

The north London side have not reached the quarter-finals of the competition since 2017-18 and have not won any silverware since lifting the EFL Cup in 2008.

Conte has made clear that he intends to win at least one trophy during his time with Spurs, but he accepts he has a big task on his hands with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool still involved.

“For sure it’s a big challenge for me, for my players because maybe you start this tournament as underdog,” said Conte, who has lost only one of his 11 domestic cup matches against sides from a lower division (W8 D2).

“But at the same time you know when you arrive to play this game and you know that there are only four games to reach the final and you start to feel the possibility to see the target, to see the goal close to you and then for this reason we have to try to push ourselves to go ahead in this competition and to try to create problems for the team that usually at this moment they are favourites to win this trophy.”

Including replays, Tottenham have never lost to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup (W4 D2), though those two draws have come as the away side in February 1905 and January 2020.


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