Heung-Min Son said he was sorry to see Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte leave the club and feels responsible for the Italian’s exit after failing to replicate his excellent form from the previous campaign.
The 30-year-old finished as the joint-top scorer in the Premier League with 23 goals to help Spurs finish fourth under Conte last season, but the South Korea forward has scored only six times in the league so far.
Tottenham parted ways with Conte on Sunday, eight days after he called his players “selfish” following a 3-3 draw at Southampton.
“As a player, I am really sorry. He’s a world-class coach, and we had a great journey together,” Son said after South Korea’s 2-1 friendly loss to Uruguay in Seoul on Tuesday.
“I should have played better. I feel responsible for his departure, because I haven’t helped the club all that much.
“I am grateful for what he’s done. He’s such a great coach and has so much experience. I will be rooting for him.”
Tottenham have been eliminated from the domestic cup competitions as well as the Champions League. They are fourth in the Premier League with 49 points from 28 games and return to action at Everton on Monday, live on Sky Sports.
Fabio Paratici, Tottenham’s managing director of football, says Conte’s exit from the club was “the right decision for everyone” and insisted now is not the time to focus on the manager’s potential successor.
Cristian Stellini has been placed in temporary charge of the side with Ryan Mason named as his No 2.
Paratici acknowledged how “difficult” this season has been for Conte, who has undergone gallbladder surgery and has lost a number of people close to him over the past few months.
The Italian said: “The club supported him a lot and everyone was close to each other but then we arrived at this mutual agreement.
“I think the decision we made was the right decision for everyone.”
Paratici added: “Everyone has to be focused on the last part of the season.
“We don’t want to talk about other coaches or follow the speculation in the media. We are focusing on helping Cristian and Ryan.”
April 3: Everton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
April 8: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
April 15: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
April 23: Newcastle (A) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
April 27: Man Utd (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8.15pm
April 30: Liverpool (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 6: Crystal Palace (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 13: Aston Villa (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 20: Brentford (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Leeds (A) – Premier League, kick off 3pm
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