Tottenham forward Richarlison has taken a swipe at manager Antonio Conte, admitting it has been a “s--- season” after they were knocked out of the Champions League by AC Milan.
A goalless draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sent the Italian champions through to the last eight after securing a 1-0 victory on aggregate.
Brazil centre-forward Richarlison has not scored for Tottenham since Sept 7 and was brought on as a substitute in the 70th minute against Milan.
But the 25-year-old has questioned both Conte and assistant coach Cristian Stellini's decision to use him as a substitute against Wolves last week and against Milan after he was picked in the starting XI for victories over West Ham and Chelsea.
“That's what I didn't understand, too [being a substitute]. It was going well, in a good sequence, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea,” Richarlison told TNT Sports Brazil.
“Suddenly, he put me on the bench, against Wolverhampton he put me on for five minutes. I asked why? They didn't tell me anything.
“And, yesterday, they asked me to take a test at the gym, that if I was good I would go to the game and, at the time of the game, they left me on the bench. These are things that it is not possible to understand.
“Let's see what [Conte] will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I'm a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left.
“This season, excuse the word, it's been 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 from two games well, I think that's it, I think I should have played and I don't have to cry about it.”
Richarlison has struggled for form since joining in a £60 million deal from Everton, making only 12 starts this season.
The former Everton and Watford forward is yet to score in 17 Premier League matches this year for Spurs with his two goals coming against Marseille in the Champions League.
Spurs will suffer another season without a trophy after defeat by Milan and their shock FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United last week left them out of all cup competitions.
Conte’s future at Tottenham remains up in the air with the Italian’s contract running out at the end of the season.
The club are still in the hunt for a top-four finish but the former Chelsea coach hinted Spurs may want to 'sack him' after their Champions League exit.
“My contract expires in June,” Conte told Italian TV after Wednesday's goalless draw. “We will see – they might sack me even before the end of the season, who knows, maybe they are disappointed.
“I can't say anything negative about the commitment of the players. They gave everything from the start to the end. We finished the game with 10 men. But if I have to see a positive situation, it is that we had a step forward.
'We played in the Europa Conference League last year and weren't able to get out of the group stages. Now we took a step forward but it is not enough and if we want to be competitive, we have to fight.”