Cristian Stellini breaks silence over Antonio Conte sacking at Tottenham | soccer
Cristian Stellini says he is ‘sad’ to see Antonio Conte leave Tottenham and believes his squad now have ’10 finals’ left to play.
Spurs parted ways with Conte on Sunday evening ‘by mutual consent’ but the Italian’s position was untenable following his lengthy rant at the Spurs players in the wake of their 3-3 draw with Southampton before the international break.
Stellini has been appointed as Spurs’ caretaker manager for the remainder of the season and will be assisted by Ryan Mason, who took temporary charge following Jose Mourinho’s exit in 2021.
Stellini has worked alongside Conte at both Inter and Spurs but the Italian insists their relationship will not change having replaced him as manager.
‘I’m feeling sad, because when you have a managerial change in the middle of the season, everyone feels responsible,’ Stellini told SpursPlay.
‘My relationship with Antonio is again the same, nothing changes in our relationship because we were friends, we were colleagues, we know each other for a long time and having this situation would not change our relationship.’
Spurs currently sit fourth in the Premier League but could be overwhelmed by both Newcastle United and Brighton if they win their games in hand.
Having exited both the FA Cup and the Champions League this month, Spurs need to finish fourth in order to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
‘I feel very honored and feel I am in the right position to do this,’ Stellini said.
‘I want to do this with all the staff, with [assistant head coach] Ryan [Mason] that is very important for me and the club and it was important when we were in charge when Antonio wasn’t here.
‘We feel we can do what we did before, we want to improve, and this is a moment to take responsibility and to improve, all together.
‘We have to continue the job. If we are here, it is because we did a good job. And if we are here is because we have to make this decision and make this real because we will work well in that moment.
‘The players, us and everyone in the club has to do something more to help the club to help the players, to help the team because we need a team and we want to show to everyone that we are a team again.
‘Everyone needed to understand the situation, needed time to understand the situation, but the players are coming back, they want to fight, this is what they want to do.
‘It’s very important to show our desire. This is the focus at the moment of the players and we don’t have to be emotional, but we have to be lucid in the way we have to fight against every opponent.
‘We have to have 10 games, and those 10 wins are 10 finals for us.
‘We have to play with personality. We don’t want to do it for vanity, we have to do if for the club for the fans, for our self and our families.
‘This is the way we have to approach it in the game. If we show this, we will have everyone with us and the energy we can create can be bigger and bigger and bigger.’
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