Antonio Conte bizarrely described Tottenham as taking “a step forward” despite his side exiting the Champions League with a whimper after a dismal second-leg performance against AC Milan
Trailing by a goal from the first leg in Milan, Spurs barely fired a shot on home turf as a lifeless display saw them crash out of the competition with a goalless draw and guaranteed a 15th straight season without a trophy.
The defeat is also widely expected to seal Conte’s departure from the club, with his contract expiring at the end of the season and no real appetite from either side to renew. In fact, his exit may now come before the end of the current campaign with Spurs’ only remaining goal to try and finish in the top four of the Premier League.
However, after a performance against Milan that saw Cristian Romero sent off and Rossoneri goalkeeper Mike Maignan barely troubled, the Italian coach insisted that his team were heading in the right direction.
“That is the third game in a row that we were not able to score. I think the game was in the balance but we can do much better offensively,” Conte explained to BT Sport.
“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. In my opinion, they gave everything from the start to the end and we finished the game with 10 men.
“But if I have to see a positive situation, it is that we had a little step forward. Last season, we played in the Europa Conference League 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.”