Antonio Conte has insisted that he is “really proud” to be manager of Tottenham Hotspur following his side’s 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Spurs needed a victory to boost their top four hopes and they went in front just before the interval despite Fulham being the better side in the early stages.
Harry Kane worked the ball onto his right foot and swept the ball home past ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno from the edge of the penalty. This goal saw Kane move level on 266 Spurs goals with club-record scorer Jimmy Greaves.
Leno made a good save to prevent Kane from breaking Tottenham’s goalscoring record in the second half but he will not mind too much as his side ran out 1-0 winners.
Tottenham remain fifth in the table with this win but they are now just three points adrift of fourth-placed Man Utd having played one game more.
It has recently been reported that Conte is set to leave Spurs but he has indicated that he is happy where he is and he wants his players to “suffer” in trying to achieve their goals this season.
“I had a good answer from my players. I asked them for solidity of the last season and the will and desire to fight and to be resilient. A good result for the fans and we showed when you play as a team it is difficult to play against us. I was happy with the performance in the last few games but we had two losses, against Arsenal and Manchester City,” Conte told Sky Sports.
“Today has to be a starting point for us to give everything then we will see what happens at the end. We have to try to stay in the race for the Champions League and try to go to the next round in the FA Cup.
“It was important to speak in the past few days and to explain the situation. Compared to last season, we continued to score goals, but to concede 21 goals in 10 games; it wasn’t positive. But I am happy with the response.
“When I see this attitude, desire and helping each other, for me it is very important. If we want to do well and continue to dream, for sure the first thing we should not lose is the desire to be a team. Every time it happens, it will be difficult to play against us.
“This season, only Arsenal have not had a difficulty. You can find a period of difficulty but I know in this period you can improve. Now we are fifth in the table, we are keeping the expectation but at the same time we want to fight until the end and we will see what happens.
“I am really proud to be Tottenham manager. I had the possibility of being the manager of an important club, it makes me proud and this has to be clear to everybody.
“For this reason, I want to fight until the end with my players. We are a team that works a lot and under this aspect, I can’t tell anything about my players.
“In the last period, we were sleeping maybe because we were losing some characteristics from last season. I spoke with my players and I have good players, but especially good men. They understand we have to fight until the end for important positions, we have to be ready to suffer.
“When I accepted to become Tottenham manager, I was happy and I am happy. In every moment and every second of my day, my first thought is for my player and club and to improve. And to make our fans proud of the team.
“The Premier League is not simple, it is difficult and there are many clubs ready to spend a lot of money to for the team. We are in the right direction then we will see. The most important thing for me is to work with my players and to have a good relationship with the club.”
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