Tottenham are reportedly considering sacking interim manager Cristian Stellini after Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle saw the season take another turn for the worse.
Reports claim Stellini could be substituted ahead of Thursday’s visit against Manchester United, as he has failed to bring about an upturn in results.
The 48-year-old was part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and temporarily moved into the top role when his Italian colleague was sacked last month.
Spurs are now outsiders in the race for a Champions League place and sit six points adrift of United despite playing two more matches.
Stellini, in his first manager role, managed just one win in his four games in charge – a 2-1 win over Brighton.
Spurs only managed a draw away to relegation-threatened Everton and were thrashed by a late goal from Bournemouth last weekend before an embarrassing defeat at Newcastle on Sunday.
The Magpies let loose, racing to lead by five goals in 21 minutes before eventually sealing a 6–1 win.
Reports began to emerge throughout Monday that the result would eventually cost Stellini his position as he told his bruised and battered troops to leave humiliation behind at Newcastle.
Stellini told SPURSPLAY: “Now we have to be responsible. We have to go back to our stadium after this performance.
“We have to throw this feeling away, immediately.”
That could prove easier said than done after Spurs were torn apart in the 21st minute on Tyneside.
They were 3-0 down just nine minutes after Jacob Murphy scored twice either side of Joelinton’s fine finish and the match was over before half-time reached the halfway mark when Alexander Isak helped double his lead.
Harry Kane, who had previously shot just wide when he could have done better, reduced the deficit four minutes after the break, but substitute Callum Wilson ensured that a gloomy afternoon in the north-east ended in further misery.
Asked what he had said at the break, Stellini, who had opted to start with a back four in which Croatia international midfielder Ivan Perisic filled in at left-back, said: “We didn’t talk much.
“We changed the system and the only thing we could say was that we had to play much better in the second half and get ready for the next game.
“I didn’t want to lose the second half. It was important to regain some confidence, if you can, after a game like this.”
As he pondered the wreckage of a catastrophic journey north, Stellini apologized for the abject display and vowed to get to the bottom of what had gone so wrong.
He said: “We have to analyse, take a breath and understand what happened from the start in an important game like today. We have to take a breath and not talk too much.
“The best thing we can say is that we apologize to everyone; the second is to analyze why and if the change of system influenced this performance, because the performance in the first 25 minutes was really bad”.
Should Stellini be relieved of his duties, first-team coach Ryan Mason could be temporarily appointed for a second time with chairman David Levy likely to wait until the end of the season to name a permanent successor to Conte.