Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte appeared to question his own future at the club after his side slumped to a fourth loss in five Premier League games with a 1-0 defeat in pouring rain at Burnley on Wednesday.
Saturday’s 3-2 win at Manchester City briefly lifted the gloom of three successive defeats, but Spurs failed to fire up against relegation battlers Burnley and went down to Ben Mee’s 71st-minute header.
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Conte described the current run as « unacceptable » and raised doubts about his ability to turn around the club’s fortunes, having been hired in November to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.
« We are doing everything to change the situation, but it’s not enough. Four defeats out of five is not good enough. This doesn’t happen to me, » the Italian, a serial winner with Juventus, Chelsea and Internazionale, told reporters.
« Maybe I’m not so good. Tottenham called me to change things but I’m too honest. I could just take my salary, but I’m too honest. We’ve lost four out of five games. This is unacceptable. «
Tottenham huffed and puffed, but a Harry Kane header against the woodwork was the closest they came to scoring.
Defeat left Tottenham in eighth place with 39 points from 24 games, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United having played two games less.
Conte knows if his side are to have any chance of making a late run for the top four, performances like the one at City on Saturday cannot just be a flash in the pan.
« Maybe there is something wrong; I want to take responsibility, if I have that, I’m open for every decision, » Conte said. « I want to help Tottenham from the first day I arrive. Also to take my salary. It is not right at this moment.
« On Saturday we play another game [at Leeds], it’s the moment to see the situation and make an assessment. I’m trying to do everything but the situation is not changing.
« In the last five games, we are playing like we are in relegation, this is the reality.
« I want to try to improve the situation and also to make an assessment with the club. Because if we continue in this way, maybe we have to pay great attention because in this league we can finish 10th, 12th, 13th — the same way that when I arrive here, the same position. »