Antonio Conte has reiterated that Tottenham are in the midst of a process to become a true Premier League title contender following criticism over their midweek loss at Manchester United.
Spurs suffered a second defeat of the domestic campaign on Wednesday and similarly to Arsenal’s poor showing earlier this month.
Conte referenced United’s spending power in the build-up to the Old Trafford clash and was quick to point out where his side currently sit in the Big Six pecking order ahead of Sunday’s visit to Newcastle.
“I know we need a process to go step by step to become a very, very strong team and be title contenders,” he said.
“I like to talk about the process because I know and I feel that this club and this team needed our process. Not in 10 months or a year and clicking, ‘you can do it, everything is fine, you’re a title contender and better than City, Chelsea, Liverpool, United and Arsenal.’
“You try to do it but you have to know there is a way. This path is mandatory. You have to go through this if you want to fight for something special and win trophies.
“Before reaching an important level we have to go a long way and improve quality, improve the number of players in the squad, especially if we are going to play in the Champions League and Premier League, but that is part of the process.
“So it depends on what we want, a long process, a short process, a medium process. You have the solutions but you have to know that we have to be patient.
“I have great respect for the club and what the club wants to try and do, but at the same time I know our chances are different to the monsters in England. There is a difference.
“It doesn’t mean that my aspiration isn’t to fight at the same level, but I think you have to have time, patience, not make mistakes in the transfer market, many situations. It’s normal for a club like Tottenham at the moment.”
Spurs’ strong start to the campaign in terms of results meant that Wednesday was only their third loss in all competitions.
While there remains debate over their style of play, the midweek setback was one of the rare occasions they suffered defeat under Conte in recent months and highlighted to the Italian a key change in the team’s mentality.
He added: “The day after a loss, for me the day after is very, very bad.
“I am trying to improve myself but on the one hand it could be better for my spirit and my family, and on the other hand I know that if I lose this anger I can lose something important to transfer my players, for the next hour of trying to do everything possible. to avoid defeat.
“I think that when you don’t get a good result, the first step to becoming a winner is to feel the defeat in yourself. In all the clubs I have worked for I have tried to transfer this to my players.
“If my players and all the people in this environment begin to understand that a defeat is different from a victory, I think this is the first step to becoming a winner.
“I think my players are starting this process. I think so. They are beginning this process, of feeling that defeat hurts them.”
The Spurs remain without Dejan Kulusevski (hamstring) and Richarlison (calf), but Emerson Royal is available after suspension.