Tottenham Hotspur are set to part company with Antonio Conte this week after he publicly criticised his players following the 3-3 draw at Southampton.
The Italian was left fuming after Spurs surrendered a 3-1 lead at St Mary’s to draw and as a result lose ground in their race for the Premier League top four.
It was, however, good news for Newcastle United, whose late victory at Nottingham Forest on Friday night saw them move two points behind Spurs with two games in-hand.
Conte’s post-match rant went viral, which has left chairman Daniel Levy with a tough decision to make during the two-week international break.
“I think it’s better to go into the problem, we are not a team,” said Conte. “We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into it]. This season compared to last, now we are worse in this aspect. When you are not a team you cannot improve.”
The 53-year-old continued: “They don’t play for something important, yeah. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress.
“It is easy in this way. Tottenham’s story is this, 20 years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stay here.
“I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench. You risk to disrupt the figure of the manager and to protect the other situation in every moment. Until now I try to hide the situation but now, no, because I repeat I don’t want to see what I have seen today.
“Everyone has to take their responsibility. Not only the club, the manager and the staff. The players have to be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change.
“They can change the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, Tottenham are expected to agree Conte’s departure this week, and it is likely Ryan Mason will be placed in temporary charge for the remainder of the end of the season.
Eddie Howe’s Magpies face Manchester United, West Ham United, Brentford and Aston Villa before hosting Spurs in a potential Champions League qualification decider at St James’ Park on April 23.
Liverpool also aren’t out the race. Jurgen Klopp’s side sit sixth, five points off Newcastle and seven away from Spurs but like Newcastle hold two games in-hand on the latter.
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