Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has responded to Antonio Conte’s outburst and claimed that his team-mates are not “committed to the project”.
Conte lost his head after Tottenham drew 3-3 against Southampton over the weekend. His team were 3-1 ahead but they surrendered a two-goal lead late on.
The Italian head coach claimed after the final whistle that some of his players are “selfish” as they “don’t want to help” their team-mates.
He was already under pressure following their recent exits from the FA Cup and Champions League and it is now expected that he will be dismissed before his contract expires in the summer.
Hojbjerg has now responded to the comments made by Conte. The midfielder has hinted that not all of Tottenham’s players are “committed to the project or culture”.
“Haha, yes, how did I experience it? I think we’ve all seen it. Very honest and very open press conference he gave,” Hojbjerg said (via Sport Witness).
“It is because he is not satisfied. You don’t do that if you’ve reached the quarter-final of the Champions League and if you’re in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“It comes from the fact that, unfortunately, we did not get the results we as a team and club wanted. We are still where we want and need to be in the Premier League. But yes, it’s hard, I should say.
“I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture. But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.
“The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me. You do what you can to please him. What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100% of myself for the team.”
When asked if he was “offended” by Conte’s comments, Hojbjerg rejected this suggestion as his manager’s comments were not “precise” so Spurs players could not take his words “to heart”.
“That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that if that’s how he sees it, then you have to be a little more precise in order for you as a player to take it to heart,” Hojbjerg stressed.
Hojbjerg also indicated that Tottenham’s players were in the dark about Conte’s press conference: “No, let me put it this way: He didn’t tell us what he wanted to say at the press conference.
“But it is clear that you work with each other every day, you want the best for each other and you want to be successful together. And sometimes the waves go high in football.”