Friday, February 23, 2024
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Conte and Bielsa’s futures on the line, Eriksen set for Brentford bow

LONDON (AFP) – Tottenham end a rollercoaster week with a visit to Leeds today that could seal the fate of either manager with Spurs boss Antonio Conte hinting he could quit after just four months in the job.

Spurs had seemingly revitalised their bid for a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League with a stunning 95th minute goal from Harry Kane to beat leaders Manchester City 3-2 last weekend.

But they followed up that success by losing 1-0 at Burnley – their fourth defeat in five
league games.

“The situation is unacceptable. To lose four games in five for Tottenham has to be a disaster,” said Conte, whose side sit eighth in the table. “It’s right to make an assessment with the club.

“The situation is going down and I think our fans don’t deserve this situation. I’m too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way.

“If the problem is the coach, I’m ready to go to help the club. I don’t want money, I’m too honest. We have to do something because if we continue in this way the situation is not going to improve.”

Spurs’ latest failure was just as much of a blow to Leeds in their battle to beat the drop.

Burnley’s second consecutive win, while Leeds were being hammered 6-0 by Liverpool on Wednesday, closed the gap between Marcelo Bielsa’s men and the bottom three to just three points.

“We are fighting relegation,” said Bielsa. “Of course it worries me, how is it not going to?”
Leeds have conceded a league-high 56 goals in 25 games.

Bielsa has been feted with celebrity status in Yorkshire for ending Leeds’ 16-year exile from the top flight. But there is increasing evidence that his fourth season may be his last at Elland Road and that a change of manager may even be needed to stem the slump towards the relegation zone.

Brentford have also been dragged into the relegation battle by a seven-game winless run in which they have picked up just one point. But the Bees could have the boost of calling on Christian Eriksen for today’s vital clash with Newcastle as the Dane nears his return.

Eriksen has not played a competitive match since suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 in June.

The 30-year-old, who joined the London club as a free agent in January following his release from Inter Milan, has stepped up his fitness by playing in behind closed doors friendlies in recent weeks.