Ashley Cole has urged Tottenham Hotspur to give Antonio Conte the time and resources he needs to get the North Londoners competing for major honours.
Tottenham’s results have seen a remarkable improvement since Conte arrived through the door at the start of November.
However, the Spurs boss has continued insisting there is a big gap in terms of quality between the Tottenham squad and the best sides in the Premier League.
His assessment was proven right at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday as Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 win with an understrength side in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Conte admitted after the game that the game showed the gulf in quality between the two London rivals.
Cole said after the final whistle that the Italian needs to be backed and given the opportunity to close the gap between Tottenham and the likes of Chelsea.
The former Blues defender told Sky Sports Premier League (05/01/2022 at 21:45): “Individually, they [Tottenham] are behind Chelsea.
“Conte hopes for patience and time. Every manager wants that and I totally agree that if Tottenham fans and Tottenham as a club want to see the best Antonio Conte, you have got to give him a chance.
“We saw at Inter and at Chelsea, when he is given what he needs, he can produce.
“Whether he can do it at Tottenham I don’t know, but he needs time because the level I feel is not at the level of Chelsea, let alone Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal… not there yet.”
Michael Dawson insisted that Conte was visibly hurting after Tottenham’s performance at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The former Spurs centre-back said: “He [Conte] is hurting, he knows how far Spurs are behind Chelsea. He has said it before in his press conferences.
“You are going there [Stamford Bridge] as underdogs, which they were tonight despite their good run of form.
“Conte has done incredibly and he has closed the gap, but Chelsea are still ahead of them, 10 points in the Premier League is a lot, and the team he is playing have been together a lot longer than what Antonio has, so he is trying to get his points across.
“But when you start a game in that manner against a really good Chelsea team, it is an uphill battle. It is always an uphill battle because the record says it is when you go to Stamford Bridge, it is terrible, and he was hurting and very, very honest.”
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Even before Wednesday’s defeat, Conte has been adamant that the squad is lacking in quality. So, I doubt the performance would have a big impact on Conte’s assessment of the squad. The Italian will perhaps use the game as evidence to point out to Paratici the squad requires a lot of reinforcements.
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