Antonio Conte admitted Tottenham’s level is ‘not so high’ following their dismal Europa Conference League defeat to NS Mura on Thursday.
While Spurs have had some disappointing moments in Europe in the last two seasons – the defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League earlier this year being one such example – this was Conte’s first loss as the club’s manager and it again highlighted the lack of quality depth in the squad.
Spurs fell behind early on before Ryan Sessegnon was sent off for two bookable offences. Harry Kane managed to equalise but Tottenham were caught out in injury time for a loss that leaves their European hopes hanging in the balance.
Speaking after the game, Conte said: “Usually I prefer to not speak to them after the game, especially when the game is not good because you are too involved emotionally.
“After the game I think it is good to not speak to the players. We will do it tomorrow. A bad loss, I am not satisfied with what happened. This is the second time in a row we have finished the game with 10, against Vitesse it was the same. We risked not winning against Vitesse and today it happened again.
“I think this team is very young but at the same time we have to work and improve because the details move the final result. I did not like what happened tonight, the performance. I must be honest and tell you that after three and a half weeks, I am starting to understand the situation. I can tell you that the situation is not simple.
“It is not simple because in this moment because for sure the level of Tottenham is not so high. There is an important gap to the top teams in England. Of this we must not be scared. I am here to work, here to improve the situation. I know we have to work hard but we have also to improve the quality of the situation, because if we want to be competitive.”
He added: “To win is always important, but then you have to understand if you are ready to win. At this moment I think there is a lot of road in front of us before we think we can win. For sure I want to reduce the time to try and win something. The situation now is starting to be very clear in my mind. I like to win, I play to win in every competition that we have to play. This must be the same for my players.
“The club is outstanding outside, to create a stadium but now we start from behind. It is important to know this because I am not a magician and after three weeks I have found players that want to work and have great commitment but sometimes it is not enough.”