Antonio Conte repeats what Jose Mourinho said in first Tottenham interview after Vitesse

Antonio Conte: In profile

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Antonio Conte has repeated the same thoughts that Jose Mourinho aired during the opening days of his Tottenham reign. The Italian was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor on Tuesday and was on the sidelines for his first game in charge on Thursday night. 

Spurs defeated Vitesse 3-2 in a nervy encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Conte’s side raced into a three-goal lead before being pegged back twice ahead of half-time.  

The win increased their chances of qualifying from their Europa Conference League group after defeat to Vitesse under Nuno had put those ambitions in doubt.  

Conte has a big task overcoming the disappointing start that Spurs endured under the 52-year-old’s predecessor.  

Five losses from their opening 10 Premier League matches leave them ninth in the table. Nuno’s fate was sealed following last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Manchester United, which was their fourth reverse by three goals already this term. 

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Former Inter Milan boss Conte, who was a contender to replace Mourinho before Nuno’s appointment, has embraced the facilities he has to work with. That includes the club’s 60,000-seater arena, opened in 2019.  

He has gushed about the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the club’s training ground.  

“For sure, this club has great potential. I was enthusiastic about the stadium, about the training ground, maybe in the world I don’t know if another club has this,” Conte enthused. 

“I think it was one of the reasons, because also I accepted them to come here. Because I know that here, I can work in the way that I like.

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“And the club is a top club. And I want to repay the club about the trust that they showed me. 

“And for sure now in this moment, we have to focus on the pitch, on the football aspect, to try to bring at the same level is very difficult. 

I think the club with the stadium, with the training ground, is for me the best in the world maybe. I have never seen this type of situation.  

“The players and I, we should work, we should work a lot, we want to improve the football aspect. I think the support, the fans also tonight, they showed that they deserve this.” 

And those are similar sentiments echoed by Mourinho during the opening days of his tenure in November 2019.

The Portuguese, who shared a tense relationship with Conte during the new boss’ previous spell in England as Chelsea manager, had just replaced Mauricio Pochettino. 

Mourinho ended up having very few opportunities to coach in a packed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Fewer than four months after his arrival, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns saw supporters banned from attending matches. 

By the time English grounds were allowed to host capacity crowds at the start of this season, Mourinho had been dismissed.  

“When you say beautiful stadium you are too humble. You have to say the best stadium in the world. I think that is the reality,” the 59-year-old said upon his appointment.

“The training ground is second to none. It probably can only be compared with some American football training grounds. 

“It is impossible to compare anything the same as the stadium. I think it is something that has to make us all very, very proud.  

“But not just that, the conditions you have to work in are absolutely amazing.”
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