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Fans call for Antonio Conte to go as Spurs crash out of Champions League

Tottenham captain Harry Kane© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerBelfast Telegraph

Angry Tottenham fans vented their annoyance at manager Antonio Conte as a disastrous run of form concluded with a desperately disappointing Champions League exit.

Tottenham’s season plunged to new depths after they were dumped out of the Champions League following a 1-0 aggregate defeat to AC Milan.

In a week that saw them knocked out of the FA Cup to Championship side Sheffield United and then lose ground in the Premier League top-four race with defeat to relegation-threatened Wolves, Spurs were unable to overturn their first-leg deficit after a limp 0-0 second-leg draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Their exit heaped further doubt over boss Antonio Conte’s future and the Italian’s likely exit might well be expedited after the atmosphere turned toxic with the fans angrily voicing their disapproval at full-time.

Mauricio Pochettino is widely expected to return to Tottenham for a second spell as manager at some stage over the next few months, yet Conte refused to accept his negative tactics were to blame for his side’s latest cup exit.

"That is the third game in a row that we were not able to score,” he reflected.

“I think the game was in the balance. I think we can do much better offensively. I speak about the whole team not only those who play in the front half. We can do much better.

"I can't tell anything negative about the commitment of the players. They gave everything from the start to the end. We finished the game with 10 men. But if I have to see a positive situation, it is that we had a step forward.

"We played in the Europa Conference League last year and weren't able to get out of the group stages. Now we took a step forward but it is not enough and if we want to be competitive, we have to fight.

"For sure in our mind it was to put pressure on with intensity but in the first half we found it difficult offensively. We found space to receive the ball and create one-v-one but we struggled.

"We felt a bit of pressure. I think they need to play regularly this type of game to try to improve.

"I think everybody wants to go to the next round. In the first game we lost a good chance. Milan was without important players, like us.

"We have to continue to work. We have another game that we have to recover for. We have to try to reach the best possible position at the end of the season."

In an interview with Italian TV, Conte gave a broad hint that he will not be at Tottenham next season, as he suggested the club may end his time at the club before the end of this season.

"I continue to work, I have a contract with Tottenham. I respect the contract,” he said.

"At the end of the season, assessments will be made with the club in the most serene way, I'll have my say... I have a contract about to expire and let's see how the season ends.

“Maybe they can send me away even earlier. Perhaps the expectations were higher and may be disappointed. What matters for a coach is trying to work and raise the bar.

"This year we are struggling to raise the bar. Bringing the level from average to good is much simpler, problems still arise when raising it.”

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