Conte considers ‘carrot or stick’ after latest Spurs defeat

Date published: Wednesday 2nd March 2022 8:42 - News Desk

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte looks dejected

Antonio Conte insists he has the patience to see the job through at Tottenham after they were dumped out of the FA Cup at Middlesbrough.

The Championship side followed up their fourth-round giant-killing of Manchester United with another Premier League scalp as teenager Josh Coburn’s extra-time goal earned a deserved 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

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It was an abject display by Spurs, who were condemned to yet another season without a trophy and their campaign hinges on their ability to produce a late surge into the top four.

The Italian was previously scathing of his side after a similar defeat at Burnley last week, suggesting he might not be the man for the job, but after this loss he remained calm.

He said: “In this moment I’m the last person, I don’t think about myself. When I speak with my players and in my team I say that we have to think about ‘us’, not ‘me’.

“For me no problem and for me there is the desire, the will, the patience to try to continue to work very hard to improve, to make this team more stable than the past, because I think this is the key that can change the situation.

“I try every day through the work. Also sometimes to speak. For sure in this type of situation you need to find the right key to go into the mind of the players, because it’s not only sometimes a tactical problem or a technical problem.”

“Sometimes you have to try to work and to push in other aspects, the mental aspects and try to stay focused and to work also on the training sessions, to keep focusing.”

Conte again explained his dramatic reaction to the Burnley defeat was a strategic decision and said he has to find the best way of getting the most out of his players.

“Sometimes you have to be strong, sometimes light. My old coaches in Italy, especially Carletto Mazzone, taught me that the coach sometimes has to use the carrot, sometimes the stick,” he said.

“I have to try the right way at the individual moment. After Burnley, I used the stick and we won! After Leeds, the carrot, we lost.

“I repeat: the coach has to try to find always the best solution, not because you’re upset, frustrated and disappointed. At every moment the situation has to be very clear.

“I know there’s a lot of space for improvement for this team and we have to try to be more stable. Tonight we showed that we have a lot of space for improvement in this aspect.”


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