Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Conte dismisses resignation reports

Antonio Conte has moved quickly to deny reports he is set to resign as manager of the Italian national side

Conte was only appointed five months ago, following his departure from the Serie A champions Juventus and is unbeaten in his first six games in charge.

Despite airing his disappointment at support from Italian clubs, Conte has denied rumours he will walk away from his job.

“I took on a job with people that enthusiastically wanted me and with the Italy fans.

“This job gives me such a responsibility that although the speculation is part of football, I rule out that eventuality (resigning).”

Conte held a meeting with all but five of the 20 Serie A managers on Tuesday, in an attempt to gain more understanding on how to bring success to the national side.

“I hope this meeting will be institutionalised and that we have it at least once a year,” Conte said. “I know what coaches think just as I know what players think, having been a player myself.

“This meeting allows me to create a continuous rapport with coaches and players and, as a consequence, to get some feedback from the clubs.

“There has been an agreement for the national team to have a three-day get-together in February, although the clubs will have the final decision.”

The former Juventus manager admitted he has become frustrated at the lack of game time his Azzuri players have received this term.

“This is a time where, excluding goalkeepers, only eight or 10 of the 23 national team players are starters in their respective squads,” the 45-year-old said. “For this reason, I ask the clubs to pay extra attention, in order to give those a few more minutes of training after a game.

“I know that this can be annoying to the players, but you need to show a bit of love to be in the Azzurri circle.

“No one has made promises to me and I didn’t need to hear them either. I just needed to talk to the coaches with honesty and transparency.”

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