Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte admits Tottenham are his 'most difficult challenge'

Tom Gott
Conte knows he has work to do with Tottenham
Conte knows he has work to do with Tottenham / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Antonio Conte has confessed that turning Tottenham into Premier League champions could be the toughest job of his career.

A serial winner with Juventus, Chelsea and Inter, Conte joined a Spurs side who had tumbled down to ninth under former boss Nuno Espirito Santo and has been tasked with not only closing the gap to the top, but eventually sitting there himself.

Sitting down with Sky Sports, Conte admitted he was under no illusion as to just how challenging this job could be.

"I am not a magician," Conte said. "I don't have the capacity to completely change the situation immediately, but honestly I'm happy because I know Tottenham is the right fit for me.

"We want to build something strong and something important for the present and for the future. We have everything around us in place and we have to now reach this top level with the team.

"At Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan we were underdogs. I remember at the start Juventus were out of Europe while Chelsea were 10th the season before me. At Inter it was the same as they hadn't won the league in 10 years, but I'm not here just to enjoy but to build something important.

"I have to be honest with the fans and say that at this moment and for many reasons, there is a gap with at least four teams. We have to work hard to try to close this gap in a short time. If you get the time, you can't waste it.

"The target for myself and for the club is to be competitive and to try to fight with teams that right now I feel are higher than us. Arriving during the middle of the season is not easy for me and for everyone but this is another big challenge. Maybe this is a bit more of a challenge than I've had before in terms of its difficulty but I enjoy this type of situation."

Conte went on to stress that he is not interested in Spurs' infamous lack of trophies, insisting he is only bothered about helping the side realise their obvious potential.

"We've still got a team that's very young despite having players who have been here for many years," he continued. "Now is the time to grow together and to have a target as I see no reason why Tottenham can't win if we work hard and are strong mentally. You have to make sacrifices, show passion, heart and have a sense of belonging.

"I'm not interested in speaking about the club's past - I prefer to focus on Tottenham starting a new path to try to have a new era in which they are competitive with the rest of the Premier League for important titles."