The Brazilian was introduced off the bench in the 70th minute as Spurs played out a goalless draw with the Italian giants, rarely threatening to overturn the 1-0 first-leg deficit until Harry Kane forced a fine late stop from Mike Maignan.
The Spurs fans, or at least those left in the stadium, booed heavily at full-time as they processed another season without a trophy.
Conte likely to miss Chelsea game as Son says health is the ‘most important thing’
19/02/2023 AT 22:33
And Richarlison, who has only scored in one game for Spurs since his £60 million move from Everton last summer, was upset after being left out of the side for the second leg, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski preferred in attack.
Cristian Stellini has taken charge of recent matches but Antonio Conte returned to lead the team against AC Milan.
He told TNT Sports: “It’s what I didn’t understand [being a substitute]. I arrived well, in good form, two victories against West Ham and Chelsea.
“All of a sudden, I’m on the bench, against Wolverhampton [a 1-0 defeat] I was put on for five minutes. I asked why, they didn’t tell me anything.
“And, yesterday, they asked me to do a test in the academy, so that if I was well I would play the game, and when the game arrived, they left me on the bench.
“These are things you can’t understand. Let’s see what he says tomorrow, but I’m also no fool, I’m a professional, I work all day and I want to play. Missing minutes, missing time.
“This season, sorry for the word, it is a s***, because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury. But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came off the back of two good games, I think it’s that, I think that I should have played and I don’t have to cry about it.”
Tottenham’s European exit capped a tough week that also saw them lose in the FA Cup fifth round to Championship side Sheffield United and lose momentum in the Premier League top-four battle with defeat at Wolves.
Conte said his team “don’t have the foundation to win” but suggested he would not walk away from the job during the season.
“This is not the right day to speak about my future. I have a contract with Tottenham and Tottenham know very well my thoughts. At the end of the season we meet and then make a decision,” he said.
“The situation is really clear. It’s one year and two months since I started, I always say the same thing, we need time and patience. At this moment we don’t have a solid foundation to be competitive and win. We try to work and get the right players to get the right foundation and try to find the solution in the transfer market for the right team.
“I have a great relationship with the chairman. I have a contract until June, I’m ready to work at Tottenham. At the end there will be a decision.
“I’m really sorry for the fans. We cannot invent the win or wait for a miracle one day for a trophy. You have to build and have patience. I understand the fans don’t have patience because for a long time Tottenham have not been winning. What I can promise is my team will work really hard for this club and try to improve.”
‘We made the decision’ – Stellini on dropping Son for West Ham game
19/02/2023 AT 16:47
Conte won’t return to Spurs until ‘entire recovery’ after surgery
16/02/2023 AT 11:14