Antonio Conte Begins Mind-Games With Erik Ten Hag, Takes Shot At Man United
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Antonio Conte has seemingly aimed a thinly-veiled dig at Manchester United and heaped pressure on their new boss Erik Ten Hag.
Man United have officially appointed Ten Hag as their next permanent manager, announcing his arrival on Thursday.
🔴 Erik. Ten. Hag. 🔴#MUFC || #WelcomeErik pic.twitter.com/x6YF75C0gB— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2022
The Dutchman has penned a three-year deal and will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
And ahead of taking charge of the Old Trafford outfit, Conte heaped pressure on the 52-year-old and appeared to take a swipe at the club.
He warned Ten Hag you can't 'sleep' when managing in England and claimed Man United are having a 'strange' campaign because they improved their squad after finishing second in the Premier League last season.
Speaking ahead of Spurs' trip to Brentford, the Italian explained: "This season United improved the squad with Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo."
A reporter then chimed in, saying: "But they've got worse."
Conte replied: "It's strange, because last season they had second place and they improved the squad. You are going worse than last season means it's not so easy, especially in England.
"Many teams have to pay attention because in England you can sleep and finish in the relegation zone, or to finish out of Europe."
Conte, who has previously been linked with the Man United hot-seat, added: "For sure in England for the manager it's a big job for every manager because the competition is very high.
"When you're at Manchester United the pressure is massive. You have to fight to win trophies. It's not easy because other teams have the same idea."
🗣 “It’s not so easy in England.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 21, 2022
Antonio Conte says Manchester United improved their squad with Varane, Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo but they got worse. pic.twitter.com/hsvtLynL2P
On the race for Champions League qualification, he continued: "This race, the team that is able to do less mistakes from now until the end can earn the possibility to play in the Champions League next season."
Conte's side currently occupy fourth spot, but are only ahead of Arsenal on goal difference.
They still have to play each other in the final stretch, with both teams having six league games left of the season.
Featured Image Credit: Football Daily/PA
Topics: Football, Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United, Antonio Conte, Tottenham Hotspur