Former Tottenham full-back Alan Hutton says he can “imagine the chat in the dressing room” as Antonio Conte continually plays down Spurs’ ability to challenge the Premier League elite.
Conte once again questioned his squad’s chances of qualifying for the top four after their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa and Hutton insists he would have been “annoyed” by the manager’s comments.
“It would have bothered me when I was there,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“He is basically saying they are not good enough. So I can imagine the chat within the dressing room.
“I just think there is always something behind when you listen to him talk. He has said this several times where he is talking about his own contract and how he could be leaving.
“I just feel like it is a little shot to the border to Daniel Levy to back him. It just seems like this is why he keeps on saying it.
“As a player, I would be annoyed. He is basically saying that they are not good enough to finish higher up the league.”
After the defeat to Villa, Conte said his squad lacks “creative players” and conceded that a fifth-place finish may be the best they can hope for this season.
“We have to know that our life is this. We have to fight every game for one point or for three points. This is the truth, especially when you are without two or three important players and have difficulties.
“We have different characteristics. We don’t have many players who are really good to beat the man. We don’t have many creative players in our team. For sure today was really difficult to find space in the first half.
“I’m sure that if we don’t concede the goal, we could win the game instead. The goal that we conceded killed us in confidence and in many situations for sure. You have to try and improve and develop these players and especially young players to be even stronger.
“I want to be honest, I want to be very clear. I have said this to the club, I have said my opinions. The fans deserve the best. Maybe to stay in 5th is the best. Maybe 6th, 7th, 5th or 4th is the best.”
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