Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has ripped into his “selfish” players, saying they “don’t want to play under pressure” after they squandered a chance to finish third in the Premier League with 3-3 on Saturday at the bottom. the Southampton table.
Spurs were on course for a crucial victory in their quest for the Champions League title when Ivan Perisic scored in the 74th minute after earlier goals from Pedro Porro and Harry Kane.
The visitors led 3-1 at that stage, after Che Adams canceled out Porro’s opener.
But Saints hit back, with Theo Walcott cutting the deficit on 77 minutes before James Ward-Prowse’s penalty extended Spurs’ winless run on the road to the five games.
Tottenham’s recent defeats by AC Milan and Sheffield United saw them exit the Champions League and FA Cup ensuring the club went 15 years without a major win.
Conte was in no mood to spare his team’s emotions in the 10th minute at St Mary’s, with Tottenham just two points ahead of Newcastle, with two games in hand, in the race for fourth and the final stage of the Champions League.
“We are 11 players who go into the field. I see selfish players, I see players who don’t want to help each other and don’t put their hearts (in ),” he said.
“Why? Because they’re used to it here, they’re used to it. They don’t play for something important of course. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress.
“It’s easy this way. The story of Tottenham is this. Twenty years in charge and they have never won anything. Why? It’s only the club’s fault, or for all managers who stay here. I saw the Tottenham managers were on the bench.”
But the 53-year-old Italian, who was previously in charge of Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, as well as the Italian national team, expressed his love for Spurs’ long-suffering supporters.
“Until now try to hide the situation but now, no because I say no more, I don’t want to see what I saw today because it is not acceptable and it is also not acceptable for fans,” he added.
“They follow us, pay their ticket and see the team again, doing this kind of action is not acceptable.”
Tottenham’s win over Nottingham Forest last week was a morale booster, even if Conte’s future remains uncertain when his contract expires at the end of the season.
But the manager insisted the speculation that his position is just another “alibi” for a team that is not performing well.
“I see only 11 players playing for themselves,” he said.
“There are 10 games left and some people think we can fight, what is with this spirit, this attitude, this commitment? I will? For seventh, eighth, 10th place? I am not familiar with this situation.
“I am very disappointed and everyone must take their responsibility, not only the club, the manager and the staff, the players must be involved in this situation because it is time to change At this point if Tottenham wants to change.
“If they want to continue this way, they can change the manager, many managers, but they can’t change the situation, believe me.”
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