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Chelsea

Antonio Conte admits Tottenham his biggest challenge as he looks to turn things around


Antonio Conte has led Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan to league titles but believes his latest Premier League challenge at Tottenham is the toughest he has faced

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Conte hints at first Tottenham starts for Bentancur and Kulusevki

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Antonio Conte has admitted Spurs are his biggest challenge in management.

The 52-year-old Italian Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan to the title in each of his last three club jobs.

Now he wants to restore Spurs to the days when, under Mauricio Pochettino, they were one of the most formidable teams to play against in the Premier League.

Conte took charge of Chelsea in 2016 and fought out a thrilling race for the title that season with Pochettino’s team.

But Conte’s current Spurs side – who host Wolves on Sunday – last kept a clean sheet on New Years’ Day at Watford.

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Conte said: “Compared to the past when I was at Chelsea, Tottenham is a different team. We have to try to build this team up again to being like Tottenham were at that moment.

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Antonio Conte admits he is facing his toughest test in management

“I remember very well, back then, Tottenham were really, really strong. They had an important squad with a mix of experience, a mix of strong young players and now we are starting another way, another path.

“So we need to have patience, especially our fans.”

Juventus were seventh in Serie A when Conte took control in 2011. He led them to that season’s title and added two more.

Conte took Chelsea from tenth to first in a single season and, after joining Inter Milan three years ago, took them from fourth in 2019 to the title last year.

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Asked whether his job at Spurs was toughest of all, he said: “For sure. It’s a big challenge for me.

“I know how it is. At Chelsea they were tenth but the previous season they won the league. That means you have a good basis to win again quickly.

“At Juventus, well – they are one of the best teams in the league and last decade they have won nine times.

“Also with Inter [they were in good shape].

“At the moment with Tottenham we are starting in a position further down. For this reason we need more time. You have to build a lot of things. You have to create a good foundation. That’s the difference.

“You need time and patience. It would be stupid for me to make any proclamations in such a short period. We already know now that we have to work.”

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