Fabio Paratici opens up on Antonio Conte's Tottenham exit & provides update on manager search
By Sean Walsh
Tottenham Hotspur managing director of football Fabio Paratici has discussed the decision to part ways with head coach Antonio Conte.
Spurs reached a mutual agreement for Conte to depart the club on Sunday night following a disappointing run of results.
Conte oversaw exits in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and UEFA Champions League this season despite high hopes of ending the club's 15-year trophy drought.
In his personal life, Conte lost three close friends - Spurs fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, former Italy colleague Gianluca Vialli and Serie A legend Sinisa Mihajlovic - while he had to undergo emergency surgery on his gallbladder at the start of February.
Speaking to Tottenham club channels, Paratici leaned on these reasons as to why Conte's reign ended so sourly.
"About Antonio, we know how difficult this season was for him personally. Gian Piero died, Vialli and Mihajlovic [died], the surgery, the club supported him a lot about this and everyone was close with each other. But we arrived to this mutual agreement, and I think the decision we made was the right decision to everyone," Paratici said.
Paratici went on to talk about interim manager Cristian Stellini - Conte's former assistant who took charge of Tottenham in his absence this year - as well as speculation over a permanent successor.
"So Cristian managed the team even when Antonio was sick this season and was good. He has a lot of experience as a second and even first coach in the past. We have Ryan Mason who can help him a lot because he's been part of this club for a long time, he knows everything about this club and this kind of group of players. So I think we are really, really confident that these two persons can do a very good job," Paratici continued.
"The players doesn't have to change a bit, the style of training. So change everything when you have just 10 games to go I think would be really difficult to the players.
"I would like to see, not just this season but even last season, when we came here we speak about 'rebuild' a bit. We started to play Conference League, starting not so good. Then at the end of the season we achieved a big result to get Champions League.
"Then this season, we played Champions League, we passed the group, it was a good achievement for us. And then we get out against Milan.
"I think about growing up, the team and the club. The pathway for the club was good about results in that way. And then of course we are disappointed because we can be better in the FA [Cup] against Sheffield [United]. Every time you lose one game, you regret it.
"Of course we are focused and looking forward about being better arriving at the end of the season and the next season better again.
"The Premier League always is tough, so we have a lot of teams and clubs [who are] really, really prepared...but we fight, we like that. So we will fight to achieve our target, we are prepared to fight until the end of the season. We have to be focused on the last part of the season.
"We don't speak about other coaches or follow the speculation in the media because this is just speculation. We are focused and now concentrating on helping Cristian and the staff, the players.
"I think today we have to be focused on our squad and our manager because it's an important moment."
Paratici is one of 12 former Juventus officials who were due in court this week regarding the club's financial mismanagement, though a date for the hearing has now been pushed back until May.
- Fabio Paratici court case: When is it, what are the charges, how will it affect Juventus & Tottenham?
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