Antonio Conte yet to discuss Tottenham January transfers as he aims to improve current squad

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  • Antonio Conte
    Antonio Conte
    Italian association football player and manager
 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Antonio Conte has called for time "to build something important" at Tottenham and says he is focussed on improving the current squad – rather than spending in January.

Conte has won five league titles in his last seven seasons as a coach but knows he has his work cut out at Spurs, who slumped to an embarrassing defeat to NS Mura – the lowest-ranked side in the Europa Conference League – last week.

After the game, the Italian admitted the level of his squad is "not so high" and insisted there is a gap between Spurs and the Premier League's top clubs.

Regardless, Conte says he has not discussed next month's transfer window and is working to "do something great" with the existing squad.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's League game against Brentford, the Italian said: "Honestly when I decided to become Tottenham manager I didn't speak about [January].

"When you take a job, you have to make your evaluations and you have to feel your sensations. And honestly I felt Tottenham was the right club to work at and to bring my ideas and philosophy of football. For this reason, I accepted the job.

"I didn't talk about January or the way to improve the team. I repeat: I'm here because I have great enthusiasm, great patience to start a new work with Tottenham.

"If I'm here, it's because I want to build something important with the club. I know at the moment we're a bit far from the top clubs but we need to work to improve the situation. To start and also to create a good basis where you start – and then you build. We can do this and then our fans will support us and for sure, at the moment, it's not simple.

"But I have great enthusiasm and great patience and I believe that here we can build something important. We need patience and time but I have great desire to do something great.

"At the moment, my only thoughts are about getting the best out of my players," Conte added. "In this moment, in my mind there is only this. I've found a group of players who want to improve, they want to improve their level and for sure we need to improve the level if we want to be competitive and if we want to fight for something important.

"But in this moment the level is not so high. I think that's honest on one hand, but on the other hand, it can give us more desire and more will to work and to improve ourselves.

"That's the only way that in this moment we have to try in this season to be competitive or at least to fight. To look up and not in the middle or down."

Starting with the visit of the Bees, Spurs have ten matches in 30 days before facing Watford on New Year's Day, and Conte says it is essential to remain within touching distance of the teams above them.

"January is very far, we have to concentrate on this month because this month we play many games," he said. "We need to move up the table and get points.

"For us, it's very, very important to stay close to the teams ahead of us. January is very far. I'm totally focussed on the team to get the best out of my players. Also to make the right evaluations of the whole squad.

"Then we'll see what happens. I repeat: we have to play many games and I need all the players. I count on all the players. I trust in these players and we're working, we're working well. I know it's not easy when you come in during the season to bring your philosophy and ideas. But the players are showing great availability and this is very important. Because I know that with time we'll improve in every aspect."

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