Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Conte cites ‘big challenge’ ahead as Tottenham manager

LONDON (AP) — Antonio Conte wants time to implement his vision as Tottenham’s new manager, admitting it will be a “huge challenge” to fix the Premier League club’s fall.

The Italian became Tottenham’s third manager in seven months when he replaced Nuno Espirito Santo this week with a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season and the option to extend.

Conte, who led Chelsea to the league title in 2016-17, spoke at a news conference on Friday before traveling to Everton on Sunday.

“It’s a challenge, a big, big challenge,” he said. “On the pitch, we have to change a lot of things.”

Mid-table Tottenham have scored just nine goals in 10 matches. Only last-placed Norwich have scored less. England striker Harry Kane has netted just once in league play after winning the Golden Boot last season with 23.

Conte, who has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan after winning Serie A in May, won the Premier League title and FA Cup in his two seasons at Chelsea before leaving in 2018.

His first game for Spurs was a 3-2 home win over Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday when he nearly took a three-goal lead.

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“I have seen these few days that we need to do a lot of work to improve in many aspects for every single player,” said Conte, 52. “This squad also has to work on improving their ability, to not be so emotional during the game, to have more order on the pitch, to go into my view of football, to improve their physical condition. . We have to improve in many aspects.”

The new manager said Tottenham had a new facility worth $1.6 billion but lacked a long-term plan on the pitch.

“You have to have vision. This club had great vision outside the pitch,” he said. “Now, I think we need to start having a vision on the pitch, on the football topic as well. If we want to win then This is important. The club has shown that it has done a great job with the stadium, with the training ground.

“Now I think we need time – time and vision,” he continued, “because only if you have a vision in football can you start to build something important for the present, for the future.”

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