Antonio Conte believes he deserves to be winning trophies and admits that Tottenham did not give him any targets when he joined the club.
The Spurs experience has been a different one for the Italian after winning league titles at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Juventus in his previous three club management jobs.
At Tottenham the 52-year-old is instead fighting to simply get into the European spots in the table and he believes that while he started his management career at struggling teams, he can continue to develop through experience.
“I think every experience you have got to try and learn from,” said Conte. “It is important to be prepared to learn because you can have different experiences, if you don’t want to see or you don’t to learn and you close your eyes and you stay in your world.
“In every experience you have to be prepared to learn, for sure this is a new experience for me. Don’t forget in my past I started at the bottom, I didn’t start like other coaches at the top. I started in Serie B and my first experience was not so good. Then I worked for two years in Serie B, I won two leagues before going to Juventus and then to have the possibility to be the coach of important teams.
“Now this is a new challenge for me, for sure you need patience and you know in this moment you can’t fight for something important, for what I am used to doing in my past and I think I deserved to do in the past.
“I deserved to stay and fight to win the league, to win trophies because someone gave me something in my career. Now this is a new experience, I repeat I am enjoying these months, we are fighting a lot because we are trying to change a lot of situations on the pitch and outside of the pitch.
“If I get to be honest it is not easy. We are fighting, we are fighting to try and improve the situation, also because I think they ask of me this. I am trying to improve and give all of myself to try and change the situation.
“The situation is here for many, many years, not only in the last moment. We are trying to work very hard, I can promise this to put all of myself to the club and now we have three months left and for sure to have more days to work with the players to prepare the games is a big positive for us.
“For now until the end we have to try and do our best to try and get the best possible position in the table.”
Conte explained that it was difficult to compare his second season at Inter Milan, when he won the title, with his potential second campaign at Spurs because of the demands and ambition of the two clubs.
“I think that when Inter came to my house to ask me to go there they asked me to win in two years and they gave me the possibility to do what I want,” he said.
“I can tell you this. With Tottenham honestly we didn’t speak about this. Maybe the target is different because in Italy there was only Juventus, also Milan and Napoli, but Juventus was the first to win nine titles in a row.
“When you know you only have one opponent and also the possibility of the club, you want to win in two years or three years. In two years we won and now Inter Milan is one of the best teams in Italy.
“Now the situation I have found [here] is totally different, we can’t compare the situation with my experience at Inter Milan. For this reason we have to be focused on finishing the season in the best possible way then the situation will be much more clear.”
Tottenham crashed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday against Middlesbrough and Conte laughed as he admitted that he doesn’t know how he is meant to react now after defeats, having been criticised for being angry after the loss to Burnley and then for smiling on Tuesday in the aftermath at the Riverside Stadium.
“You know very well to win this trophy is not simple. Then you go to play away against a Championship team, like Middlesbrough, but also Luton, I saw Chelsea struggled a lot,” he said.
“We have to be disappointed because we wanted to go to the next step, also for our minds the FA Cup would be a possible target. Also for our mind’s stimulation to give us something to hope for at the end of the season to lift the trophy.
“For this reason we have to be frustrated, the players and I, for what happened, but I said this after the game, sorry if I didn’t show to be very angry, but I don’t know now if I have to be angry or not angry.
“For sure I was disappointed and now I understand in every situation there is a part that doesn’t agree with my action.”
On Monday night Spurs are back in action with a Premier League clash against Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The game will mark the quick return of Dele Alli to the north London club after his departure to the Merseyside club in January.
Conte said he worked with the player on the training pitches at Hotspur Way but ultimately it was a move that was in the best interests of all involved.
“I think that it was a good decision for the player and the club. This decision was the best for the player because he wasn’t playing, in the last few years he wasn’t playing regularly and I think it was good for him to go to another environment and then to have another challenge for himself,” he said.
“I think it was a good decision for both the club and Dele. I can tell you that in the period that we were working together I tried to get the best out of him and he was always involved in the training session, but in the end it was a good decision for him and he deserves big respect for what he did for this club in the time that he played here.”
From the latest transfer news to those glorious wins in north London and beyond! There might even be a laugh or two too.
When asked why Alli’s career stalled, he added: “It is difficult to tell something about this, for sure he is still young and his career is in his hands. He is very young and he has all the time to take his career again. I really think so.”
However, when questioned over whether any players he has sold from his clubs have returned to haunt him, Conte gave an answer that suggests history is not on Alli’s side.
“I don’t remember one player that when he went away he came back with a great spirit of revenge. Honestly I don’t remember one,” he said.
“During my coaching I always try to be honest with the players and give all the players the possibility to show me that they deserve to play.
“I don’t remember a player that had their revenge with me. What happens usually is that when players went away they went down, not up.”