Alamy Stock Photo Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.
'I am an honest player' - Hojbjerg calls on Conte to 'elaborate' after Spurs rant
Tottenham appear set to sack their head coach following his furious outburst after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton.

LAST UPDATE | Mar 21st 2023, 12:59 PM

PIERRE-EMILE HOJBJERG called on Antonio Conte to be “more precise” in his criticism of Tottenham’s players after his outburst in the aftermath of Saturday’s draw with Southampton.

Tottenham appear set to sack head coach Antonio Conte this week, according to reports.

Conte has been in charge for just 16 months and, while they sit fourth in the Premier League, several media outlets are reporting his post-match outburst after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton was the final straw for the Spurs hierarchy.

The Italian has recently seen his side exit the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession and watched Tottenham concede twice in the final 13 minutes on the south coast.

He then launched a furious tirade against his own “selfish” players and shut down uncertainty over his future as “excuses” for a squad who have failed to end the club’s trophy drought dating back to 2008.

Speaking to the press ahead of Denmark’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Finland, Spurs midfielder Hojbjerg said in quotes reported by Danish publication Tipsbladet that Conte needed to be more specific in his remarks.

“I think we’ve all seen it,” said the 27-year-old. “He gave a very honest and very open press conference. 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 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.”

Conte doubted the commitment of his players after a run that has seen them lose seven of their 17 games in 2023 and get knocked out of both remaining cup competitions, ensuring their 15-year wait for a trophy will continue.

“The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I take from it,” Hojbjerg added. “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 per cent of myself for the team.

“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.”

Conte’s contract was set to expire in the summer and he has remained coy over the prospect of extending his stay in north London, but Tottenham seem set to cut their losses with the former Chelsea boss.

Spurs declined to comment when contacted by the PA news agency.

Conte’s arrival at Tottenham at the end of 2021 was meant to usher in a new trophy-laden era for the club considering the past success of the experienced coach at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

He guided Tottenham to an impressive top-four finish last season by beating rivals Arsenal to Champions League qualification on the final day but despite a flurry of transfer activity in the summer, results have been patchy this term.

They are in the Champions League positions but fifth-placed Newcastle are two points behind and have two games in hand.

While some outlets are reporting Ryan Mason could take the reins as caretaker for a second time, there is increasing speculation that Mauricio Pochettino could return to the club.

mauricio-pochettino-manager-of-tottenham-during-the-premier-league-match-at-the-tottenham-hotspur-stadium-london-picture-date-9th-november-2019-picture-credit-should-read-james-wilsonsportimage Alamy Stock Photo Mauricio Pochettino. Alamy Stock Photo

The Argentinian had five and a half years in north London, leading Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019, but he was sacked months later after a disappointing start to the 2019-20 campaign.

Pochettino, currently without a club after leaving Paris St Germain last July, told BT Sport a few months after leaving Tottenham that he had unfinished business at the club.

“It was an amazing journey that finished the way no one wanted it to finish,” he said. “But deep in my heart I am sure our paths will cross again.

“From the day I left the club, my dream is to be back one day and to try to finish the work we didn’t finish.”

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