Antonio Conte understands his task at Tottenham is “different” to his usual roles but will only stick around if he is 100 per cent convinced by the club’s project.
When appointed by Spurs at the end of 2021, the expectation was the 53-year-old could help the club make the final step to becoming genuine title contenders but, despite an impressive fourth-place finish being achieved last season, this current campaign has been littered with inconsistent displays.
Conte has repeatedly spoken about the need for patience and foundations to be built.
Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace, he said: “Here, I understood that my task is different.
“My task here is to help the club, to build a solid foundation, to create a base and then to try to improve. This is my task here, this is my challenge here.
“If you ask me – and the challenge for you – is to win the Premier League, to win the Champions League, this is not the task here in this moment.
“The task for me is to help the club I found. I signed a contract in November 2021 when I found the club in a difficult position for many reasons.
“Now my task, I understood it very well, is to try to help the club go in the right direction or to come back in the right direction about the choices of the players, about the work, to organise and to create a foundation.
“Now this is my big challenge here. Now if I want to stay here, then I have to accept this. Otherwise, if I don’t want to accept this then I have to go.”
Pressed on how long he would give the current project before deciding to move on, Conte accepted he would not stick around forever.
“At the start for me it wasn’t easy. This is an important experience. I accepted to do this because I found a great club, a modern club and for this reason I’m happy to work here,” Conte insisted.
“My big challenge is this. To continue to work so strong with my staff and the players, to improve the club, to create a solid foundation.
“If I am satisfied to continue to do this work and to one day see the result I will continue to stay, if I’m not convinced 100 per cent then I can leave my work here.
“It’s a big work we are doing together. I know very well what it is and it’s important.”
Given Arsenal’s progress this season and Newcastle’s strong first half of the season, Conte highlighted the importance of knowing when to speed up the project.
He said: “For now the most important thing is that the process has started. This is very important.
“Then, the process you can accelerate or you go step by step. It depends also on many circumstances.”