Antonio Conte launches stunning attack on his OWN players as Tottenham boss admits team are ‘going backwards’
ANTONIO CONTE launched a stunning attack on his own players after they threw away a two-goal lead.
Tottenham were 15 minutes from all three points at St Mary’s Stadium, where they led Southampton 3-1.
However, the home side snatched an unlikely draw – which left the Italian, 53, questioning his stars.
He told BBC Sport: “I’m really upset because this is not the first time and I think today I can tell you that this is an upset because we are winning 3-1 and 15 minutes to go and I think you have to win.
“Instead we showed this another time, things started to improve last season but we lost the characteristic of last season. I don’t want to talk about the technical aspect, the spirit is missing.
“We are not a team. We are a team that everyone is thinking of himself.
“When you are in this way that can happen, you lose against Sheffield United and drop the FA Cup and with AC Milan and to finish that run you’re winning 3-1 and the last 15 you are able to give them the possibility to come back.
“I don’t see the sense of responsibility of the players.”
Conte added that he believes his team are going backwards and that Saturday’s collapse was “unnacceptable”.
“Now it’s difficult – we are working hard with this group and to move in the right direction,” Conte continued.
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“We are going behind, I see a lot of negative situations and a lot of selfish situations and players that I don’t like. I know the way to beat teams, in the past I beat a lot of teams, winning teams.
“Now instead we are going behind, no one is interested in this. I have great frustration about this because me and the staff stay every day to think of a way to improve. Honestly, it’s time I have to take responsibility for me, the staff, the club but also the players.
“The players go onto the pitch, I’m the coach OK I take the responsibility, the players have to take some.
“What happened in the last period is unacceptable and I tried every moment to speak to try to improve the situation and to transfer the importance to be a team and to help each other but I’m not seeing this.
“Today it happened in a game we’re winning 3-1, it’s in your hands but we have to take the environment.
“The club and I are always under scrutiny but the players have to take responsibility because I don’t see this.
‘In a process where you want to build something, the tactical aspect is important but the spirit is important.
“The mind has to stay focussed and despite one and a half years, I saw much more last season. This season we are going backwards.”
Tottenham remain in contention for a Champions League place – and sit in fourth spot.
However, they have played two more games than Newcastle, who are just two points behind the North London side.
As for Conte, in recent weeks he has appeared frustrated on the touchline.
Only last week he slammed Tottenham fans for lacking patience.
The former Inter manager’s contract expires in the summer, and it is unclear if he will continue as boss.
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