Antonio Conte has insisted that it will take time for Tottenham to be able to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for major honours.

Tottenham have made an impressive start to Conte’s first full season in charge, having accumulated 17 points from their first seven games.

The Lilywhites are unbeaten heading into the North London derby on Saturday, and the game will serve as an acid test of both club’s credentials to keep pace with Manchester City at the top.

A win on Saturday at the Emirates, a ground where Spurs have found it incredibly difficult to get results, would perhaps fill Tottenham fans with optimism about a potential title tilt.

However, Conte is certainly not getting carried away, insisting that the Lilywhites have to be patient since they do not have the same resources as some of the clubs they are competing against.

The Spurs boss told Football.London: “I think it will be very important to continue to work in the right way.

“I know, personally, that we need to have time and a bit of patience to try to build a path to become seriously competitive with City, Liverpool, Chelsea, also United I think and Arsenal.

“For me, it’s important to realise this and understand that we need time and patience.

“Then, I repeat, I’m enjoying working with this club and it’s very important to have a good relationship with the owner and Fabio [Paratici] to stay in the same line and vision. Then I know in other clubs maybe you have the possibility to have a path not so long.

“Also in this transfer market, you go to try to improve the team but if you see what happens in the other clubs you understand, not that’s it’s difficult but that you have to go slowly, to work, to go step by step to improve this level.

“This is the only way we have to go together. To improve the quality of the players, to improve my players and to try to reduce this gap.

“I listen sometimes to people speaking, only because you had two or three good results but it’s important to be honest, to know which is the reality and to be ready to fight, to work and to improve the situation, but you need time and patience to improve the squad.

“Slowly slowly and you have to know that other clubs can go into the transfer market and spend a lot of money and we have to do things with common sense and know this is the right way for a club like Tottenham.”

Conte also pointed to Arsenal as an example of how backing a manager can bare fruit for the club, praising the Gunners hierarchy for the way they stuck with Mikel Arteta during difficult times.

He added: “I think if I see what happened at Arsenal, they’re a club who backed Arteta over the years and you’re seeing when you trust a person, and Arsenal showed this also in a tough period with Arteta, backing him in every moment, now they’re having good results.

“Last season, don’t forget they were in the Champions League [places] in the last three games. They had a good step.

“I think this season they’re better than last season. They made good signings, especially Jesus and Zinchenko from a club like Manchester City, two players that are used to winning and having a winning mentality.

“It’s important because I can see they’ve improved the level. Not only the quality but the mentality at Arsenal.

“I think they’re doing a good job. In my opinion, it’s always very very important to go together, with the coach and the club. If you want to build something important you have to go together, to have a good relationship.

“I think the manager in every decision he is going to take has to have a good explanation to the club. ‘Why I want this and not that player.’ It’s right for the manager to show the vision that you have and then the club have to agree with the manager.

“To have a great connection, a great link between the manager and the club, for sure you have a future much better than the present.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It is quite encouraging to hear Conte talk about the future in this manner as it suggests that he is prepared to build a long-term project at Spurs even if the team do not taste success immediately.

That is a major development as Conte is someone who is obsessed with winning every season and has often walked away from clubs if he feels they cannot do so.

The Italian’s words over recent months suggest that he is now prepared to take on a different type of challenge, similar to the one Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool.

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