It’s difficult to control your emotion’: Antonio Conte forgives Klopp for his criticism of tactics


Antonio Conte is ready to forgive Jurgen Klopp for criticising his style of football, and claims the verbal swipe was only taken because Tottenham ended Liverpool’s title challenge.

“I understood his frustration,” said Conte. “They lost the Premier League because of that result and we reached the Champions League.

“It’s OK, every coach has to speak for his team – and for every coach it is important to understand the best strategy to reach a good result. Honestly, I have seen again the game and if there was a team that deserved to win it was Tottenham not Liverpool.

“But I understand why after the game when you felt you lost the Premier League you say something wrong against another team, but he said sorry because he understood. No problem for me. When you are angry it’s very difficult sometimes to control your emotion.”

Klopp grumbled ‘it’s not my kind of football’ when Spurs drew 1-1 at Anfield in May, and later admitted he had been wrong. The teams meet again in London, tomorrow,(SUN) with Conte holding Klopp’s seven years of work at Liverpool up as a good example for Spurs to follow.

“He has changed Liverpool,” said the Tottenham boss. “Liverpool didn’t win for a long period and he needed four years to bring them to be able to win again. This shows it is important for a coach to have time.

“If people don’t know about football, they think ‘the story of this coach is a winner’, it is not so. Jurgen shows that through work, and the matches and the transfer market he improved Liverpool and brought them to the top. They are definitely a good example for us.”

The rival managers have been united in their opposition to this season’s fixture congestion, and, yesterday,(FRI) Conte blasted English football’s decision to squeeze the Carabao Cup fourth round between the World Cup final on December 18 and the first Premier League fixtures on Boxing Day.

“I find it crazy that, three days after final of World Cup final, we are going to play a game in the Carabao Cup, then after another three days, play in the Premier League. We are the only country to do it. Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, they are all taking time to give rest and breathe a bit.”

The Carabao Cup fourth round will be the first domestic fixtures for Premier League clubs after the World Cup. Third round ties are next week, with Tottenham at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday as they attempt to reach the last 16.

Conte also defended his Argentina defender Cristian Romero against accusations that he is out injured because he is protecting his fitness for the World Cup.

“I can tell you that for him if he has the possibility to play with one leg he wants to play with one leg,” said the Spurs boss.


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