Antonio Conte acknowledges he will have to leave Tottenham if he can no longer accept the club’s position as unlikely Premier League and Champions League contenders.
Spurs approach Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace five points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United after suffering a dismal 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
Tottenham have now won just one of their past four Premier League games either side of the World Cup break, and their poor run has added fuel to speculation regarding Conte’s future.
The former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter boss has been linked with an exit on several occasions since taking the reins in November 2021.
While Conte is content at Tottenham for now, he says his commitment to the club can only last while he remains comfortable with their inability to compete for major honours.
“My task is to help the club, to create a base, and then to try to improve,” Conte said on Tuesday.
“If you say to me, ‘the challenge for you is to win the Premier League, to win the Champions League’… This is not the task in this moment.
“I found the club in a difficult position for many reasons. Now my task – I understand it very well – is to help the club go in the right direction and to create a foundation.
7 – Tottenham have conceded at least twice in each of their last seven Premier League games, their longest run of shipping 2+ in league matches since November 1988 (8). Alarming. pic.twitter.com/kcMJpMXEGi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2023
“Then, if I am satisfied to continue to do this work and to one day see the result, I will continue to stay. If I’m not convinced 100 per cent, then I can leave my work.
“This is my big challenge here. If I want to stay here, then I have to accept this. Otherwise, if I don’t want to accept this, then I have to go.”
Spurs supporters vented their frustration towards chairman Daniel Levy during Sunday’s loss to Villa, but Conte outlined the need for unity.
Asked about audible chants calling for Levy to leave at Tottenham’s last game, Conte said: “Honestly, I did not hear this.
“All I can say is it is important in this moment to have togetherness between fans, players and the club. We must stick together.
“I understand fans want to win trophies and be competitive, but to go to this step you need to create a base. I can’t tell you anything different.”
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