Tottenham manager Antonio Conte explains how he deals with defeats and what he wants his players to do.
Tottenham struggled to establish themselves and their style of play against top teams and were lucky to get away with a point against Chelsea earlier in the season. They failed against Arsenal in the North London derby, however, and barely showed up against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
They are currently just four points off first place, but manager Antonio Conte says he’s had some of those bad feelings already this season. He told reporters after Newcastle: “My first reaction is not that I’m not worried, my first reaction is that I’m angry.
“I’m angry because every game I would like to see my team win and score three points. My first emotion is not that I worry, it’s not frustration, my first emotion is that I’m angry. I’m angry because in my head I start every match with the hope of winning and when we lose my first emotion is that I’m angry but I’m angry at myself not at my players.
“We have to be very clear. Then I try to use that to figure out how to improve and how to avoid. I don’t like defeat. I don’t like him, especially the day after a defeat. For me, the next day is really, really bad. I try to improve myself but on the one hand it could be better for my spirit and my family. And on the other hand I know that if I lose this anger I can lose something important to transfer to my players, next time try to do everything to avoid defeat.”
Feeling pain after a defeat is the first step to being great
Antonio Conte is an outright winner and has won trophies everywhere he has gone, the former Inter Milan manager led Spurs to a Champions League place despite arriving mid-season. He admits that one of the things that has kept him going is his ability to allow himself to feel the pain because it’s the first step to regaining his competitive edge.
He added: “The next day for me is a bit difficult. I try to talk with my staff to find the right solution to send the right message to the players. I have to transfer every moment to go in the right direction. I think when you don’t get a good result, the first step to becoming a winner is to feel the defeat within yourself.
“In all the clubs I’ve worked at, I’ve tried to pass that on to my players because if I’m the only person who feels defeat [it is not good]. If my players and everyone in that environment starts to understand that losing is different from winning, I think that’s the first step to becoming a winner.