Antonio Conte calls for ‘vision’ at ‘fantastic’ Tottenham ahead of ‘big challenge’

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Antonio Conte calls for ‘vision’ at ‘fantastic’ Tottenham ahead of ‘big challenge’
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Antonio Conte has called for patience at Tottenham, saying he cannot turn the club around "in a short time", and says they must have a "vision" for success on the pitch.

The new head coach, who succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo on Tuesday, will be tasked with reversing the club’s rapid decline, which has seen Spurs fall from being 2019 Champions League finalists to competing in the Europa Conference League.

Chairman Daniel Levy has often been accused of lacking a vision for the football side of the club while prioritising building a new stadium and training ground, which Conte has already said are both among the best in the world.

The Italian says Spurs, who are without a trophy since 2008, need time to become winners but believes all the infrastructure is in place for success.

“This is a big challenge,” Conte said, who was speaking for his first League game against Everton on Sunday. “And I know very well that this club is not winning for many years.

"But I think that to win, you have to build to win. Winning doesn’t happen after one, two, three days, or one or two months. You must have vision. I think this club had a great vision outside of the pitch. Now I think we have to start to have a vision also on the pitch, on the football topic.

“I think this is important if we want to win. The club has shown that they’re working very well with the stadium, with the training ground. Now I think that we need time. Time and ambition. Only if you have ambition in football, you can start to build something important for the present, for the future.

“I know I will need time to work, to change something here, on the pitch. Because outside, it’s fantastic, it’s great. maybe too much. On the pitch, I think we need to change, need to change many, many things.

“It can’t happen in short time. I must speak honestly. But we are strong, we want to improve with the players, we want to work every day, to try to build something to be proud of for our fans."

Conte was an hour late for his first pre-match press conference because training overran while he put his new players through their paces after last night’s wild 3-2 win over Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League, his first match in charge.

Conte is notorious for demanding everything from his players and his teams typically excel in terms of fitness.

“This squad has to work to improve their physical condition, to go into my idea of football, to have more order on the pitch and to not be so emotional during the game, to improve their capacity also to suffer,” he explained.

“We have to improve many aspects. For this reason, Tottenham decided to change something. Because when the situation is not good, usually the coach pays for this. But for sure we have to work together and the players must know very well that we have to work a lot. If we want to win something important for the present or the future, we have to be all together, be focused and show the desire to work all together inside to improve the situation.

“But we’re ready.

“I find a group of players with great ability. It’s not a good thing when during the season the club has had to change the coach. It’s traumatic for everybody. But at the same time, I think I’ve found great ability with the players, their will and their desire to work. But after two or three days it’s a short time to answer this question. I hope this commitment, attitude and behaviour continues for the rest of the season. We need the ability of the players if we want to try and change something.”

Conte signed an 18-month contract, with an option to extend, having agreed three year deals in his last two club jobs with Chelsea and Inter Milan.

He insisted the length of his deal was not an issue and said he hoped to work with Spurs for “a long time” because the conditions at the club are so favourable.

“I think my contract is not a problem," he said.

"I understood the sacrifices this club made for me. It’s OK but I think that the best thing for us is to work together with the players, with the club and to understand that we can work together for a long time. I hope so.

"Because I think this club if you want to work, you can work. You have a fantastic training ground and the club gives you everything if we ask for something to improve the situation of the players. At the same time, I know that we need to have patience.

“I’m the first person that needs to have patience. When you work with a team again, especially at the start of the season, you have one month to introduce yourself and your staff to the players.

“To go into the job during the season is not simple. But the contract is OK for me and my hope is to find the right condition with this club for a long time, for sure.”

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