Football

Antonio Conte pledges Tottenham future after hinting at exit in bad run

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has said he remains committed to the club following talks with chairman Daniel Levy, but warned his players they must work harder to rescue their season.

The Italian coach cast doubt over his future following Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley — their fourth Premier League defeat in five games — by stating: « I came here to help the club and if the problem could be the coach, I’ m ready to go, no problem. »

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However, speaking at a news conference on Friday at Spurs’ Hotspur Way training base, Conte moved to dampen concerns he could quit after receiving assurances from the club.

« I spoke with Daniel, » he said. « Sometimes I don’t like that I see that someone tried to create a problem between me and the club because this is not true, believe me. This is not the truth.

« Our chairman Daniel Levy, he knows very well that I’m here to help the club in every moment and will help the club until the end. This is the reality and he knows this and he knows that we are working very hard and he has great consideration about my job, about the job of my staff and we speak.

« I repeat: I want to help the club in every aspect, also with my vision, with my idea and my ideas about football, for improvement and I repeat, no problem.

« He shows me great consideration every day and for this reason I am committed for this club much more because I know that the consideration of the club for myself is very high. »

Conte hinted at a degree of regret over his emotional outburst but warned his players their only response should be to knuckle down to salvage their campaign, which continues with Saturday’s trip to Leeds United.

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« For sure, when you lose a game, I’m not the person to have dinner with, » Conte added.

« You understand? I’m not the right person. When I lose a game my mood is very bad, I prefer to stay alone. I prefer to leave the defeat, stay alone and metabolize the defeat.

« For sure I need one day to recover — at least. It’s me, you understand? I don’t like to lose. If you ask me what I hate in life, it’s to lose games.

« When I lose, if you expect that I am happy or to come to a press conference and laugh, I am not this person. I am sorry if I show my disappointment because maybe it would be good to keep this inside and not show my emotion.

« I am an honest person, it is difficult for me to lie or hide the truth and for this reason sometimes after a loss my mood is not top. Sorry for this but I am this.

« The reaction of the players to be to work. We have to stay in silence, no reaction, just work.

« The players need to be angry for the situation. I stop. Don’t have reaction, not positive or negative. They have to be angry, same way that I am angry. Then stop. »

Conte confirmed Rodrigo Bentancur will miss the game at Elland Road with an ankle problem while Oliver Skipp (snout), Japhet Tanganga (knee) are also unavailable.

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