Tottenham boss Antonio Conte relishing Chelsea return but insists he has nothing to prove after sacking

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte relishing Chelsea return but insists he has nothing to prove after sacking
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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says he is returning to Chelsea for the first time since his sacking with nothing to prove.

The Italian won the Premier League title and FA Cup in two seasons at Stamford Bridge before being dismissed in July 2018 with one year remaining on his contract.

Conte will be back in west London on Wednesday night as his Tottenham side battle Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie.

"I created a good relationship with players, staff and people who work at Chelsea," Conte said ahead of that clash. "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, who lost last season's Carabao Cup final to Manchester City, are targeting a first trophy since 2008 but Conte says the club needs to build before they are ready to challenge for silverware.

"It’s always very important to win trophies – for the club, for the players, for the managers," said Conte, who will be without injured trio Cristian Romero, Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon tomorrow while the club are also waiting on the results of two possible Covid-19 cases.

"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.

Antonio Conte won the Premier League and FA Cup during his two years in charge at Chelsea (Getty Images)
Antonio Conte won the Premier League and FA Cup during his two years in charge at Chelsea (Getty Images)

"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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