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Tottenham squad believe Antonio Conte ‘leaving or left’ after explosion | Antonio Conte

The Tottenham players believe Antonio Conte is ‘gone or gone’, according to a dressing room source, with their only question about the manager’s future regarding when he leaves.

Conte is expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, although it is understood some of the players would take him in immediately. There are serious doubts as to whether enough of them are still behind him.

The Italian made a typically dramatic move on Saturday after the late capitulation at Southampton, when the side surrendered a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3, putting a dent in their front four hopes – the target for the rest of the season. He attacked the players in his post-match press conference, calling them ‘selfish’, accusing them of lacking ‘fire in their eyes’ and blaming them for the club’s ongoing trophy drought.

Conte previously said his players were struggling to cope with the pressure and he doubled down on critics – and many others – during a searing rant, which could be interpreted as a final roll of the dice to set them up for their last 10 games of the season. Despite everything, the Spurs continue to occupy the fourth place. Newcastle are two points behind in fifth and with two games less.

On Friday penultimate, following the Champions League Round of 16 exit to Milan, Conte opted for the fans, saying their lack of patience with trophies had affected the players and created a bad atmosphere. The comments were extraordinary, although they were certainly matched by those after the Southampton game.

Conte has been noted to have avoided criticizing the president, Daniel Levy, who himself remains under heavy fire from support; they state that the club have only won the 2008 Carling Cup in 22 years. This created a messy and volatile situation at the start of the international break. The team will be next in action at Everton on April 3.

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The club have been linked with a host of new managers, including Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel – who are both out of work but with plenty of variables at play. If Levy wants to make a change now, at the end of the season he could find that other working targets are out of range.


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