Conte says he must accept Tottenham shortcomings or seek exit

    Antonio Conte admits he will have to leave Tottenham if he can no longer accept the club’s position as an unlikely Premier League and Champions League contender.

    The Spurs are closing in on Wednesday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace and five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United after a 2-0 upset at Aston Villa on New Year’s Eve.

    Tottenham have won just one of their last four Premier League matches on either side of the World Cup break and their poor performance has fueled speculation over Conte’s future.

    The former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter boss has been linked several times to stepping down in November 2021.

    While Conte is content with Tottenham so far, he says his commitment to the club can only last as long as he remains content with their inability to challenge for big honours.

    “My job is to help the club, build a base and then try to get better,” Conte said on Tuesday.

    “If you tell me, ‘The challenge for you is to win the Premier League, win the Champions League’… It’s not a challenge at the moment.

    “I found the club in a difficult position for many reasons. Now my task – I understand this very well – is to help the club move in the right direction and create a foundation.

    “Then if I am satisfied to continue doing this work and one day see the result, I will continue to stay. If I’m not 100 percent sure, I can quit my job.

    “This is my big problem here. If I want to stay here, then I have to accept it. Otherwise, if I don’t want to accept it, I have to leave.”

    Spurs supporters voiced their disappointment with club chairman Daniel Levy during Sunday’s loss to Villa, but Conte stressed the need for unity.

    Asked about the audible chants urging Levi to leave in Tottenham’s last game, Conte said: “To be honest, I didn’t hear that.

    “All I can say is that at this moment it is important to have unity between the fans, the players and the club. We must stick together.

    “I understand that the fans want to win trophies and be competitive, but in order to take this step, you need to create a base. I can’t tell you anything else.”

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