Antonio Conte insisted he did not join Tottenham because he had been promised money to spend on transfers, but again declined to offer any assurances that he would watch his contract.
On Friday, Conte declined to say whether he would definitely remain at Spurs for the duration of his 18-month deal, with some players worrying he could leave if frustrated with the club’s transfer window.
Conte has won five titles in his last seven seasons as a coach and has a reputation for seeking quick success.
The 52-year-old appeared to be surprised by the quality of his squad, which he has repeatedly described as “in the middle”, and said he didn’t realize the real state of the Spurs until he started work.
And, at a briefing later on Friday, Conte was prompted again to assure supporters that he was committed to Tottenham at least until the end of next season.
He said: “Honestly I like to live in the present and not think too much about the future. It is important to live in the present now, to try to improve the situation in the present and bring out my best players. To improve the situation. To work for because the present is now, the future is later. The later may be much later for us.
“We have to focus on the present and work now to try to improve the situation. I’ll see again Now we have to focus on the present and work hard to put Tottenham in the right position.
“As you know I signed a contract at the end of the season and for one more year,” Conte continued.
“But I repeat, I am enjoying my time at Tottenham and I have a good relationship with the people at Tottenham, with our chairman, with our general director. I want to keep working and improving this team I am. We have to focus on the present to try to improve the situation. Of course I want to improve, we want to improve. That should be the important thing.”
Conte has warned the team must improve if Spurs want to compete for silverware and they are targeting a midfielder, a forward and a right-wing-back this month.
But it is understood Spurs should offload players before Conte can invest in new talent – a situation that is likely to frustrate the Italian.
Conte first held talks about taking the Spurs job last summer, but talks broke down, and there were suggestions the club had made important promises to persuade him to join for a second time in November.
But he insisted he did not join Spurs because of promises made by chairman Daniel Levy or the club’s managing director Fabio Paratici, over expenses, and said he was focused on improving his players on the training pitch. Were.
“I didn’t sign for Tottenham as chairman or general director [Paratici] Told me about the transfer market or the money that the club is going to spend honestly,” Conte said.
“I accepted because I thought Tottenham could be a great position for me to work, to try to bring my own idea of football, to try to build something important for this club. Certainly They told me ‘we want to improve and we would like to work with you’. I said okay yes, and now we have to try to improve and bring the team to a significant level. I know very well that It will be very difficult because the gap is not a small gap. But we have to try to match our ambition and the reality of the situation at this moment of the team.”
Conte, however, reiterated that Spurs must build a team to match their spectacular stadium and training ground.
“I know it is not easy to rectify the situation. Only January is the transfer market,” he said. “Then there is work, my job, my staff and the players to try to rectify the situation.
“Like I said earlier, I enjoy working at Tottenham because I found a great atmosphere, great atmosphere, amazing stadium, great training ground. Of course I think maybe we need to raise the level of the team to our infrastructure. Now to try to match the situation, I think we have to improvise to match these two different situations.”