Antonio Conte has revealed what he would have told Daniel Levy had the Tottenham chairman asked him to get Spurs back into the top-four when he took over at the club.
Conte took charge of the Lilywhites in November of last year after a very underwhelming spell under Nuno Espirito Santo.
At the time, Spurs were a complete mess with Harry Kane unable to find the net and their defence an absolute shambles, often conceding three or more goals in a single game.
However, Conte has since transformed Tottenham into a fierce attacking force with a much better defence.
And, should they beat or draw with 20th-placed Norwich on Sunday, in turn, they will be playing Champions League football next term.
Had Daniel Levy asked for a top-four finish from Conte back in November, though, the Italian has revealed that he would have asked if the Spurs chief was joking:
“I remember very well when I spoke with the club, with Daniel, at that moment the situation wasn’t so good and the club asked me to help them and to try to find a solution to improve the team in many aspects. If you remember, we didn’t score a lot, Harry at that period had scored only goal and we conceded a lot of goals, many, many problems,” said Conte.
“The only thing the club asked me was to try to improve the situation and to work to improve the players, to try to instil the good mentality and to bring this group of players in a level better than that moment because that moment, I remember Tottenham started with three wins in a row but then the last seven games, we did six points.
“It was for sure a difficult period. For sure, if he (Levy) had asked me ‘I want to go to the Champions League’, at that moment, to be realistic, I can tell him only one thing…’are you joking?’. This is the truth because we are talking about England and a situation in this league that is very, very difficult, because there are four top teams.
“If one of these top teams doesn’t miss the season, it will be very difficult to go inside, but we have to be proud, but I also want to say thanks to the club because in January it’s not simple to listen 100% to your manager and for this reason I want to say thanks because the club believed in what I said, in the situation we have to try to improve – not many things but the right things and I think we did this.”
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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