Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte insists he has nothing to prove on return to Chelsea

Sean Walsh
Conte is returning to Stamford Bridge
Conte is returning to Stamford Bridge / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is relishing his first trip to Chelsea since being sacked by the Blues in 2018, though admitted his former club are in a better position 'to win' than his current one.

Conte's dismissal by Chelsea ended up costing the west London club over £26m and they have not won the Premier League since his departure.

He joined Inter in 2019 and delivered their first Serie A title in over a decade last season before a high-profile split from San Siro in the summer. After spurning their advances in June, Conte eventually agreed to join Spurs in November.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of Tottenham's Carabao Cup semi-final with Chelsea, Conte revealed he is looking forward to seeing some old faces at Stamford Bridge.

"I created a good relationship with players, staff and people who work at Chelsea," he said, via the Evening Standard. "We did a really good job and I think in my position I mustn’t prove anything to anyone. I’m a manager that has experience and continues to have experience in my career and do important jobs at other teams.

"It’ll be a pleasure for me to come back to Stamford Bridge because I spent two important seasons with Chelsea and left a lot of good relationships with the players who continue to play for Chelsea. It’ll be good for me to see them."

Spurs have already made great strides under Conte and are unbeaten in their nine domestic games with him at the helm.

They've muscled their way back into contention for a Champions League place and could break their 14-year trophy duck by the end of February, though Conte took the time to elaborate on what it means 'to win' in football.

"It’s always very important to win trophies - for the club, for the players, for the managers," he added. "On one hand, I have to say this. On the other, you have to build to win trophies. You can't win trophies by speaking and saying you want to win.

"You have to build something. At this moment, Chelsea is more ready than us to win. They won the Champions League last season, while we have a lot of space for improvement, to be a team with aspirations to win.

"For sure, we’ll do everything to reach the final of this trophy. But I repeat: to use this verb ‘to win’ is more simple than winning because to win you have to build something important, be solid, have an important squad. Then you’re ready to win. Otherwise you have to hope. Hope in the work you’re doing and hope to do something outstanding."

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