Antonio Conte committed ‘100 per cent and more’ to Tottenham
The Italian, who joined in November following Nuno Espirito Santo’s sacking, has always been vague about his future, often refusing to confirm he would be at the club beyond the summer.
But there has been a change in Conte’s tone in recent weeks and it is looking more and more likely he is prepared to stick around for the long term.
“From the moment I came into the club – and in every club I worked in in the past – I go totally with my heart, mind and head,” he said.
“Totally. 100 per cent and more. This is my characteristic. I’m a passionate person. I think I showed this passion. I think to see me afterwards sometimes on TV, it’s not simple to see me in this way. I’m very passionate, I’m this way. I like to go totally into the club where I work.
“I know that only in this way I’m able to give everything. And also, to find the way to receive everything from my players, my club and the fans.
“Because if I’m the first person to give 200 per cent, then for sure I can ask for this [in return].”
The chances of Conte sticking around will be enhanced if they can qualify for the Champions League next season.
They can move into the top four with victory over Burnley on Sunday, which comes 62 hours after his side put in their finest display at their new stadium to beat Arsenal 3-0 on Thursday.
The game with the Clarets presents a different challenge, though, and it was the reverse fixture in February that saw Conte lose his cool in his post-match press conference, suggesting he was not up to the task after a 1-0 defeat.
He soon climbed down from that, suggesting he was using the ‘carrot and stick’ method to motivate his troops, and it worked a treat as they won six of their next seven league games to surge up the table.
“I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you’re used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong,” he said of his Turf Moor rant.
“I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn’t understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well I was the crazy one.
“Sometimes coaches have a strategy and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick.
“Myself was the first person because I hit myself. And then the others. Because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to be the manager. The manager has to address the situation.
“At the time I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion, no-one could think with two games to go Tottenham could fight for the Champions League.
“Instead, now, we are there and from that step we improved a lot. Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together.”