New Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admits he has a “big, big challenge” ahead to make the club successful.
He got an early insight into exactly what life at Spurs is currently like during his first game in charge on Thursday, where Spurs were 3-0 up against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League but ended up hanging on to a 3-2 victory.
Spurs were Conte’s main rivals when he was at Chelsea, winning the Premier League title ahead of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but he knows there is a long road ahead to get to that level.
He has the infrastructure in place, with the new stadium and an impressive training ground, but again reiterated that it is time for the team to catch up.
The Italian said: “This is a big challenge. A big, big challenge. I know very well that this club is not winning for many years.
“But I think I’m here to build the win. The win doesn’t happen after one, two or three days or one month. You must have vision.
“This club has a great vision outside of the pitch. Now we have to start having a vision on the pitch, on the football pitch. This is important if we want to win.”
Conte was handed an 18-month deal with the option to extend, which is hardly a long-term deal.
But the 52-year-old, who has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan in the summer, is not concerned about that.
“I think my contract is not a problem, 18 months and we decided,” he said. “I understood also the sacrifices this club did for me.
“It’s OK but I think that the best things 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 or 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.”
Spurs are currently ninth in the Premier League ahead of this Sunday’s trip to Everton.
“Now to tell that we have a specific target is not simple,” he said. “I think the club is the same. (Fabio) Paratici knows very well this is the situation.
“I think at the moment it’s not good or not fair to say we want to do this or reach this.
“At the moment we’ve only to be strong, to start to work together and think that we need to improve. And there’s a lot of space for improvement in this team.
“But now, and more than in the past, after three or four days, we need to work more.”
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