Antonio Conte could not give assurances about his long-term future at Tottenham but insists he is happy at the club.
Conte signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season when he joined the club in November as he tries to take Spurs back to the top table of English football.
He has inherited a bigger job than he thought, though, and has spoken publicly about how there is an “important gap” between his side and the top four.
🎙 “For sure I want to improve the situation. I think that the people deserve much more than this.”— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 14, 2022
Conte, who has traditionally had success at previous clubs with backing in the transfer market, twice declined the chance to give a guarantee that he would still be at the club after the next two windows.
“Honestly I like to live in the present and not to think a lot about the future,” he said.
“Now it is important to live in the present, to try in the present to improve the situation and get out the best of my players. To work to improve the situation because the present is now, the future is later.
“Later could be too much later for us. We have to be focused on the present and work to try to improve the situation now.
“Then I will see. Now we have to be focused on the present and we have to work a lot to try to keep Tottenham in the right position.
“As you know I signed a contract for the end of the season and one year more. But I repeat, I am enjoying my time at Tottenham and I have a good relationship with the people in Tottenham, with our chairman (Daniel Levy), with our general director (Fabio Paratici).
“I want to work and improve this team. We have to be focused on the present to try to improve the situation. For sure I want to improve, we want to improve. This must be the important thing.”
Spurs are not a club who have spent huge amounts in the transfer market but Conte insisted the transfer kitty was not a deciding factor when agreeing to join the club.
He did, however, make it clear that Spurs had to match his ambition.
Conte added: “I did not sign for Tottenham because the chairman or the general director told me something about the transfer market or about the money the club is going to spend, honestly.
“I accepted because I felt that Tottenham could be a fantastic situation for me to work, to try to bring my idea of football, to try to create something important for this club.
“I know very well it will be very difficult because the gap is not a little gap. But we have to try to match our ambition and the reality of the situation in this moment of the team.
“I don’t lose my ambition and this must be very clear. I like to fight for something important.
“I like to fight and to be competitive. I know very well there is only one team that can lift trophies at the end of the season, especially in England where the level is very difficult and every squad is very strong.
“For sure I don’t want to lose my characteristic. I don’t want to lose my will, my desire, otherwise I will go against myself. I have to be the same person in every moment and I want to keep this characteristic.”
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