Son Heung-min admits 'I should have played better' and is 'really sorry' to Antonio Conte for being sacked

Son Heung-min responsible for Antonio Conte being sacked
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Heung-min Son has apologised to Antonio Conte for being sacked from Tottenham Hotspur, admitting he feels responsible after failing to replicate his Golden Boot-winning form from last season. 

Spurs parted company with Conte on Sunday, replacing the Italian with Christian Stellini and Ryan Mason on an interim basis until the end of the season. 

Conte criticised his players' selfishness and inability to play under pressure in a heated press conference rant following a 3-3 draw at Southampton, before suggesting the club's hierarchy haven't done enough to enable success either. 

Son is upset to see the Italian leave the club, though, after managing just six goals this Premier League campaign - a long way short of the 23 he managed to finish as joint-top scorer last season. 

"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."

Recently-sacked Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann has been heavily tipped to take over at Tottenham in the summer, with the German boss also reportedly open to talks with the club. 

Nagelsmann, who is still only 35 and is considered one of the game's most exciting young coaches, has admitted to watching Tottenham under Pochettino and also tuning into Jose Mourinho's press conferences during his time at the north London club.

When Son returns from South Korea for the international break, his main objective will be on finishing in the top four. Spurs are currently fourth in the Premier League, but are only two points ahead of fifth-placed Newcastle United having played two games more. 

They have no other competitions to focus on, after being knocked out of both the FA Cup and Champions League in recent weeks. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.