Antonio Conte says getting troubled Tottenham back on track will be the biggest challenge of his glittering managerial career.
Conte has quickly realised the size of the task he faces to revive Tottenham after a difficult first four weeks in charge.
The Italian was left chastened by an embarrassing Europa Conference League defeat to Slovenian minnows NS Mura last week.
And Conte, a title winner with Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan, conceded before Thursday’s Premier League game against Brentford that he will have to work overtime to turn the tide in north London.
“Biggest challenge, yes. But as I said in Mura, I’m not scared about this,” he said.
“I have a lot of enthusiasm. When I arrive here, I enjoy the situation. I enjoy to work with the players, I enjoy to speak with the club, I enjoy to create a good base.
“Now the most important thing is this – to create a good base and then to build something important.
“We need a bit of time but I’m sure we can improve a lot and give satisfaction to our fans.
“This is a big challenge for the club. This is a big challenge for the players. For everybody.”
When Conte won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2017, Tottenham finished second under Mauricio Pochettino.
Conte believes Tottenham are paying the price for not overhauling Pochettino’s squad earlier.
“The club, in the last years, has been slipping,” he said. “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham was very competitive, a really strong team.
“And I think that to lose important players or someone became old and then to have a change of generation, I think Tottenham now is paying a bit of this.
“Now we have to create, to start again. To think that we have to create a solid base and then to build.
“Because if we don’t have a solid base, it’s impossible to build something important.”