Antonio Conte reveals what ‘hurt’ him after Tottenham’s 4-0 thrashing of Leeds

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Antonio Conte
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Antonio Conte has admitted that he was ‘hurt’ upon hearing the news of Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking at Leeds United. 

The Argentine coach was dismissed from his post at Elland Road directly after a damaging 4-0 defeat to Conte’s Tottenham on Saturday (Sky Sports).

It comes after a dismal spell of recent form which has seen Leeds ship 21 goals in their last six games, leaving them hovering just two points above the Premier League relegation zone. 

The news of Bielsa’s dismissal had an effect on Spurs boss Conte, who says he has the greatest respect for the way the 66-year-old approaches and understands the game. 

He said (Football London): “Honestly, I’m very disappointed because we’re talking about an important manager and we are talking about a person that is a master for many managers, for many coaches in the past and in the present.

“I think, yesterday when I read the news, this news hurt me. We’re talking, I repeat, about not only a manager with a great idea and vision of football and taught a lot to other people, especially people in this job, but at the same time I have great respect for him as a person and as a man.

“In every situation, he showed great integrity and honestly in football, it’s not always you can find this type of person. I’m really disappointed for this but on the other hand, I understand that the club has to make a decision and I know very well the owner and chairman.

“Andrea Radrizzani, he’s my friend and it was nice to read the words he used yesterday about Marcelo. He spoke about the mentality he brought to the club because he worked for three and a half years.

“After the first season when they lost the promotion in the semi-final they had a promotion and then a fantastic season and also this season they were out of the relegation zone, but I understand the club has to try to change a situation and the first person you can change at this moment is the coach.

“But for sure Andrea knows very well the value of Marcelo and what he did for this club in this three and a half years.”

Bielsa took charge of Leeds in the summer of 2018 and provided an instant impact in the Whites’ push to return to the Premier League. 

In his first season, he guided the Yorkshire outfit to a third-place finish in the Championship but saw their campaign end at the hands of Derby County in the semi-finals of the play-offs. 

But the following campaign concluded in a Leeds securing promotion by winning the Championship to end the club’s 16-year absence from the top-flight. 

Spurs Web Opinion 

Football is a cut-throat industry and managers are usually pretty sad when they hear of, essentially their colleagues, losing their job.

Unfortunately, it was coming for Bielsa at Leeds, with the side having the division’s worst defensive record which has sent them free-falling towards the relegation zone. 

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