Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has told Tipsbladet what he thought of Antonio Conte’s explosive press conference over the weekend, and has urged his manager to be more open with the players.
Hojbjerg was part of the Spurs side which threw away a two-goal lead against Southampton on Saturday afternoon, with the points shared in a hectic 3-3 draw at St Mary’s stadium.
The result was a disappointing one for many, but Conte in particular reacted strongly to what he saw.
The Italian described his players as selfish and criticised their ambition in his post-match press conference (Football.London).
The fallout from that press conference is still to be deciphered, though it has been heavily suggested that Conte will now be dismissed this week (Telegraph).
However, Hojbjerg doesn’t appear to be too angry about the comments made by his manager, and has instead claimed Conte should be more honest with the team.
He said: “Haha, yes, how did I experience it? I think we’ve all seen it. Very honest and very open press conference he gave.
“It is because he is not satisfied. You don’t do that if you’ve reached the quarter-final of the Champions League and if you’re in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“It comes from the fact that, unfortunately, we did not get the results we as a team and club wanted.
“We are still where we want and need to be in the Premier League. But yes, it’s hard, I should say.
“I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture.”
However, the player has a suggestion for his manager: “I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.
“The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me. You do what you can to please him.
“What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100% of myself for the team.”
When asked if Conte was right to speak out like he did, Hojbjerg said: “Fortunately, I am not the one to judge it… I’m saying that if that’s how he sees it, then you have to be a little more precise in order for you as a player to take it to heart.”
Hojbjerg was also asked if he and the players knew what was about to come in the press conference, to which he replied, “No… He didnt tell us what he wanted to say at the press conference.
“But it is clear that you work with each other every day, you want the best for each other and you want to be successful together. And sometimes the waves go high in football.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There are lots of interesting things to take away from Hojbjerg’s comments here, but it’s a well-measured response from the Dane.
He was never going to criticise Conte publicly, but he does appear to genuinely have taken the manager’s comments on board as feedback rather than criticism.
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