Don’t forget where we were in November – Antonio Conte

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes were dented by a stalemate at Brentford but Conte insists they are ‘doing a great job’.

Antonio Conte insists Tottenham have done well to still be in the Champions League race (Adam Davy/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, PA

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has told people not to forget where his side have come from after their Champions League qualification hopes were hit on Saturday.

Spurs conceded ground to north London rivals Arsenal, whose victory over Manchester United moved them into the top four – a position Conte’s side could not regain as they limped to a 0-0 draw at Brentford.

For Conte’s side to be in the top four race at all is something of an achievement given how inconsistent they have been and the difficult position they were in when he arrived.

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The Italian was appointed in November following the dismal reign of Nuno Espirito Santo and found a team six points off the top four.

“I think also for this reason today, with five games to play we are talking about Tottenham are in the race for the Champions League [places],” Conte said.

“The people have not to forget in November the big trouble that Tottenham was. Now to stay with five games to go the possibility to stay in this race means the players improved a lot and we are doing a great job.

“But we have to know in this last month maybe if we gave 120 per cent maybe it’s not enough, we have to try to increase and go 150 per cent to try to reach this target.”

Spurs lacked any creative threat against the Bees as they made it a second successive game without a shot on target.

Brentford contained them by packing the midfield and denying Spurs’ attacking players any space.

Thomas Frank’s Brentford side kept Spurs at bay (Adam Davy/PA)

Conte has rigidly stuck to his preferred 3-5-2 system and Frank admitted that made it easier to prepare.

“In some ways it’s easier to prepare for but it’s not that easy to stop,” Frank said.

“We’ve seen before in the last two games that Spurs were the highest-scoring team and scoring goals for fun.

“But no doubt that when you know some clear patterns – personally I’m like that myself if we create that more because it also gives structure to the players, but also if you prepare for some clear situations you try of course to stop it.

“When it works like it did today for us then it’s fantastic.

“But there’ll always be some crucial moments in a game where we have to make a defining block or sprint back.”

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