Antonio Conte has confessed he must rebuild Tottenham Hotspur after they failed to cope with the break-up of their core from his previous spell in the Premier League with Chelsea.
The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker have all left Spurs since Conte joined Chelsea back in 2016, as has former boss Mauricio Pochettino, while recruitment has often left a lot to be desired.
Ahead of his side's meeting with Brentford on Thursday, Conte admitted Spurs are paying the price for failing to prepare themselves for the future at the time.
"The club, in the last years, has been slipping," he said (via Sky Sports News). "If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham was very, very competitive, was a really, really strong team.
"And I think that to lose important players or someone became old and then to have a change of generation, I think Tottenham now is paying a bit of this.
"Now we have to create, to start again. To think that we have to create a solid base and then to build. Because if we don't have a solid base, it's impossible to build something important.
"I think that now is the right moment to create a solid base and then to start to build. To come back to fight for something important as [in] the past. I think it must be our target but this target has to involve all - the club, the players. I think also our fans.
"I understand that sometimes they lose their patience but I repeat I am here to put myself totally for Tottenham and to work 24 hours for this club because this a big challenge for me - maybe the best, big challenge, about the difficulty - about the position that we are starting."
Conte confessed after the recent defeat to NS Mura that Tottenham's level was 'not so high', but he again stressed his enthusiasm towards the task at hand.
"Biggest challenge, yes. But as I said in Mura, I'm not scared about this," he continued.
"I have a lot of enthusiasm. When I arrive here, I enjoy the situation. I enjoy to work with the players, I enjoy to speak with the club, I enjoy to create a good base. Now the most important thing is this - to create a good base and then to build something important.
"We need a bit of time but I'm sure we can improve a lot and give satisfaction to our fans. But this is a big challenge for me. This is a big challenge for the club. This is a big challenge for the players. For everybody."