Spurs stars back Conte axe after Stellini takes over as Nagelsmann holds talks
TOTTENHAM stars are backing the gamble to put popular coach Cristian Stellini in charge of their Champions League hunt.
Some of the squad were glad to see the back of manager Antonio Conte, who left the club on Sunday night.
The fiery Italian yesterday appeared to aim a dig at his former chiefs via a goodbye statement.
He thanked “everyone at Spurs who appreciated and shared my passion and my intense way of living football as a coach”.
It came after ripping into his players for being ‘selfish’ in an explosive final press conference at Southampton, on the back of his team surrendering a 3-1 lead to draw.
Despite the likes of Julian Nagelsmann, Luis Enrique and former boss Mauricio Pochettino being free agents, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is sticking with Conte’s former No 2 Stellini until the end of the season.
The 48-year-old is well-liked among the squad and was seen as a calm head when stepping in during Conte’s absence earlier this season.
His task now is to keep their place in the top four, with fifth-placed Newcastle just two points behind them — and with two games in hand.
Stellini oversaw the vital 2-1 Champions League win in Marseille in September when Conte was serving a touchline ban.
He also helped secure wins against Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham while his boss was recovering from surgery.
Spurs have already spoken to sacked Bayern Munich boss Nagelsmann — and Levy will now assess other options.
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Some players grew tired of Conte’s training and the way he put the blame on them in public.
Spurs’ internationals will start arriving back at Hotspur Way tomorrow and begin preparations for their next Prem match at Everton on Monday.
Meanwhile, the preliminary hearing in the Court of Turin regarding whether there should be a criminal trial into allegations of malpractice at Juventus was supposed to begin yesterday — but has been postponed until May 10.
Spurs’ managing director of football Fabio Paratici is one of the defendants and is waiting to discover if his 30-month suspension will become a global ban.
Source: The Sun
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