Antonio Conte takes Tottenham training for first time - in pictures

New Spurs boss promises to win over the fans

Antonio Conte has taken training at Tottenham for the first time since being appointed manager, promising to “do everything” to earn the backing of the fans.

The Italian was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor on Tuesday, signing an 18-month contract, with the option of an extra year.

Conte, who won the Premier League title with Chelsea in 2016/17, had been out of work since leaving Inter Milan at the end of last summer, having just won the scudetto.

He watched training on Tuesday and should be in charge of Thursday’s Europa Conference League match with Vitesse Arnhem, providing his work permit comes through in time.

“My message to our fans is only one, I will do everything to deserve their support," he told the club's social media channels.

Conte had previously been in advanced talks with Spurs in June about becoming Jose Mourinho’s successor, but they broke down after the two parties were at odds over key issues.

However, managing director Fabio Paratici is now in position at the Premier League club and has a strong relationship with the 52-year-old, having worked with him at Juventus.

And those differences have now been overcome, with chairman Daniel Levy looking to the serial winner to turn Spurs back into a force in English football.

Conte dismissed talk over June’s disagreement, suggesting that negotiations came too soon after his San Siro exit.

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching,” he said on the club’s website.

“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.

“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.

“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.”

Nuno was relieved of his duties after Levy and Paratici met on Sunday to discuss his future, with the news delivered early on Monday.

The Portuguese was a condemned man following Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Manchester United, when fans chanted ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ and roundly booed him at full time.

Conte inherits a team in ninth position in the table, five points off the top four after 10 games, and will have a tough task to make them leading contenders again.

The club, who have not won silverware since 2008, reached the Champions League final as recently as 2019 under former boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is now in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.

But they have lost their way since then and have missed out on the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.

He will also have to get the best out of England captain Harry Kane, who has struggled to hit top form since his attempt to engineer a move to Manchester City was rebuffed.

Paratici said: “We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England.

“I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players.”

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 9:25 AM
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