Soccer-Spurs chairman Levy says it was a mistake to appoint Mourinho, Conte

FILE PHOTO:Soccer Football - Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, Britain - August 26, 2023 Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy in the stands before the match REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has said it was a "mistake" to hire Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, adding that the Premier League club "needed to go back to its roots" with new manager Ange Postecoglou.

In March, former Juventus coach Conte became the second serial-winning manager to leave the north London side in little more than three years after they also sacked Mourinho two years ago after the Portuguese was brought in to replace the hugely popular Mauricio Pochettino.

Levy has been under fire in the past, with some Spurs fans blaming the 61-year-old for the club not winning any silverware since 2008.

"I want to win just as much as everybody else," Levy said at a fan forum.

"The frustration of not winning and the pressure from maybe some players and a large element of the fan base that we need to win, we need to spend money, we need to have a big manager, a big name. And it affected me."

Now Chelsea manager Pochettino was fired in 2019, just five months after leading Spurs to the Champions League final.

"I had gone through a period where we'd almost won, with Mauricio we went through some very, very good times. We didn't quite get there but we came very close, and we had a change of strategy," Levy said.

"The strategy was let's bring in a trophy manager and we did it twice. You have to learn by the mistakes."

However, Levy said they have got their "Tottenham back" with the appointment of Postecoglou, who has already managed to lift the gloom that was hanging over the club by guiding them to their best start to a league season in 57 years.

Spurs are second on the table with 13 points in five matches, just two points behind treble winners Manchester City. Spurs next visit London rivals Arsenal on Sunday before hosting third-placed Liverpool on Sept. 30.

"They (Mourinho and Conte) are great managers, but maybe not for this club. For what we want, we want to play a certain way and if that means it has to take a little bit longer to win, maybe it's the right thing for us," Levy added.

"And that's why bringing Ange in was, from my viewpoint, exactly the right decision."

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)

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