Antonio Conte believes post-Burnley outburst was the 'strong reaction' Tottenham needed

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Antonio Conte believes post-Burnley outburst was the 'strong reaction' Tottenham needed - Getty Images
Antonio Conte believes post-Burnley outburst was the 'strong reaction' Tottenham needed - Getty Images

Antonio Conte has stood by his post-Burnley rant that raised fears over his Tottenham Hotspur future by insisting it was the wake-up call the club needed to push them into Champions League contention and the time was right to “go strong.”

Following the 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor in February that left Spurs seven points outside the top four, Conte said: “Maybe in this moment, I’m not so good to improve the situation.”

Ahead of Sunday’s reverse fixture against Burnley, Spurs have moved to just a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal thanks to their 3-0 victory over their North London rivals.

With Arsenal travelling to Newcastle United on Monday night, Tottenham can pile the pressure on to Mikel Arteta’s team by leap-fogging them into fourth spot - at least temporarily.

“I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you're used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong,” said Conte.

“I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn't understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well [that] I was the crazy [one].

“Sometimes coaches have a strategy and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick. Myself was the first person because I hit myself and then the others because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to be the manager.

“The manager has to address the situation. At the time, I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion no-one could think with two games to go, Tottenham could fight for the Champions League.

“Instead now, we are there and from that step we improved a lot. Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together.”

While Conte has been coy on his future past this season, he believes qualifying for the Champions League would be a life-changing moment for everybody at Tottenham.

“We know very well that the Champions League changes your life,” said Conte. “The club, the fans, the manager, the players. The players want to play the best competition, the manager wants to play the best competition and for this reason I repeat I’m very happy for the improvement we have.

“But it’s not enough, not enough. it’s not in our hands, the qualification is in the hands of Arsenal because if they win their two games then they play in the Champions League. We have to be ready to exploit it if they don’t win the two games. But my players deserve to have the chance to fight for a place in the Champions League because we show in this season that we are much better than the others.”

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