Antonio Conte has confessed that turning around Tottenham will be his "biggest challenge" as a manager.
Ahead of Spurs' meeting with Brentford, the Italian outlined how he believed the club must be honest about how Tottenham have slipped in the last few seasons.
Conte's side are ninth and would fall below their opponents and potentially into the bottom half of the table with a defeat.
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The Italian succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo in early November and has had a mixed start to life in North London, including a shock Europa Conference League defeat to NS Mura.
“This is a big challenge for me … the biggest, yes,” Conte admitted. “[It’s] about the difficulty, about the position that we are starting. We know that in this moment the level of the team is medium. We all know.
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"Not only me, also the players. But this cannot become an alibi or an excuse. We have to take this situation to push ourselves to improve and look up.
“The situation is not simple because you know that there are at least four clubs stronger than you. If you ask me if we can fight for the Premier League title, this situation is not simple. If you can fight for a place in the Champions League, it’s not simple. I’m used to fighting to win something, to be competitive.”
Conte will be without defender Cristian Romero until the New Year after revealing that the Argentine's hamstring issue is "very serious".
Romero was a starter in each of Conte's first two games in charge and shaped up as a vital part of the former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager's favoured three-pronged central defensive system.
Giovani Lo Celso is expected to again be unavailable for selection against Brentford having also missed the trip to Burnley, a game which was postponed due to heavy snow brought by Storm Arwen.
Conte said that the club must accept that they are no longer a side to rival the title-challenging squad assembled by Mauricio Pochettino and begin to rebuild.
“The club, in the last years, has been slipping,” Conte said. “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham was very, very competitive; a really, really strong team. To lose important players or someone became old and then to have a change of generation … Tottenham now is paying a bit for this.
“Now we have to start again – to create a solid base and then to build. As I said after the Mura game, I’m not scared about this. We need a bit of time but I’m sure we can improve a lot and give satisfaction to our fans.”
Tottenham have also revealed that former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is working at the club as he earns his coaching badges.
Toure is coaching the club's academy as he hopes to obtain his UEFA A Licence after previous coaching work in the Ukraine and Russia.
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