Antonio Conte has criticized Tottenham’s players, ownership and winning mentality after they conceded a last-gasp penalty to draw 3-3 at Premier League strugglers Southampton on Saturday.
Spurs led 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining, but Southampton mounted a stunning late comeback with goals from Theo Walcott and a stoppage-time penalty from James Ward-Prowse.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (USA)
The result means Spurs remain fourth in the table but have played two games more than Newcastle United and Liverpool.
After the game, Conte hit out at the players for the way they have failed to deliver throughout the campaign in all competitions.
“I’m really upset because it’s not the first time and I think today I can tell you that this is an upset because we’re winning 3-1 and 15 minutes left and I think you have to win,” Conte told BBC Sport.
“Instead we showed it a second 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’re not a team. We’re a team that everyone thinks about themselves. When you’re in the way it can happen, you lose against Sheffield United and drop out of the FA Cup and with AC Milan and to end that run if you win 3-1 and the last 15 you are able to give them the opportunity to come back. I don’t see the players’ sense of responsibility.
“Now it’s difficult — we’re working hard with this group and to move in the right direction. We’re going backwards, I see a lot of negative situations and a lot of selfish situations and players that I don’t like. I know .the way of beating teams, I beat many teams in the past, winning teams.
“Now instead we’re going backwards, nobody’s interested in this. I have a lot of frustration with this because me and the staff stay every day to think of a way to improve. Honestly, it’s time that I have to take responsibility for myself, the staff, the club, but also the players.”
In his post-match press conference, Conte also appeared to take aim at the club’s ownership.
“They’re used to this. Don’t play for something important. They don’t want to play under pressure. They don’t want to play under stress.
“The history of Tottenham is this. Twenty years there is the owner and they have never won anything. Why? The fault is only with the club, or with every manager who stays here. I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench.
“It’s time to change this situation, if Tottenham want to change. If they want to continue like this, they can change managers, many managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”
Spurs also face a key injury concern after a tearful Richarlison had to be withdrawn in the first five minutes.
Conte’s side face Everton after the international break on April 5.