Antonio Conte has hinted he may quit his role as the manager for Tottenham Hotspur and is set for urgent talks with club chairman Daniel Levy about the situation after they suffered a fourth defeat in five League games at Burnley on Wednesday.
Conte suggested he was “too honest” and ambitious to continue collecting his salary when results are not improving and warned Spurs would have to be careful not to be dragged into a relegation battle.
Conte comments came in a dramatic press conference following the 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor, and will spark fresh fears that Conte could walk away from the club before the end of the season.
The Italian insisted he wanted to keep working to improve an “unacceptable” situation but, in a separate post-match interview said: “I have to talk to the club”.
Speaking to reporters, Conte said: “For me, it’s very frustrating. Four defeats in the last five games. This is the first time in my life this type of situation has happened.
“Maybe I’m not so good… Yes, maybe I’m not so good.
“I think Tottenham called me to improve the situation but I’m too honest. I’m too honest to close my eyes, you understand, and to continue to say, ‘Ok I want to finish the season in this way and OK my salary is good’.
“But I’m not this type of person. I have ambition, I’m a person who has ambition, I hate to lose and we lost, I repeat, four games in the last five games.
“And for me, I repeat, this is unacceptable. I won’t accept this. 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.”
Ben Mee’s goal 20 minutes from time sunk Spurs and ensured the optimism from Saturday’s dramatic win at Manchester City immediately evaporated.
“I don’t want to comment on the game,” Conte continued. “I want to comment only on the situation. In the last five games, we lost four times. This is the reality.
“No one deserves this type of situation – the club, me, the players and fans. But this is the reality.
“I came in to try to improve the situation in Tottenham but maybe in this moment, I don’t know, I’m not so good to improve the situation.
“I’m too honest to close my eyes and say, ‘OK on Saturday we’re going to play another game.
“It’s right at the moment to see what the situation is and to make an assessment.
“Also I repeat: I’m frustrated and I’m not used to being faced with this type of situation. But the problem, I repeat: I’m trying to do everything to change the situation but the situation is not changing.
“Someone has to speak about the race for the fourth place, and the reality from the last five games is we have to pay attention to not fight for the relegation zone. This is the truth. This is the reality.
“And when this type of situation happens, maybe there is something wrong.
“I don’t want to close my eyes, I want to take my responsibility if I have the responsibility. I am open, I am open to every decision because I want to help Tottenham.
“From the first day I arrived here I want to help Tottenham. I repeat: I am too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way, and also take my salary. But it’s not right at this moment.
“I think that we are doing everything to change the situation but maybe it’s not enough. It’s not enough.”