Antonio Conte claimed he has never been worried about the form of strike duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane as Tottenham prepare to host Everton on Saturday.

Son endured an underwhelming start to the 2022-23 campaign, failing to score in Spurs' first six Premier League games before hitting a hat-trick in a 6-2 thrashing of Leicester City last month.

While those goals remain Son's only domestic strikes of the season, he scored a brace – including a crashing left-footed volley – as Tottenham earned a 3-2 Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday. 

Speaking ahead of Tottenham's meeting with the Toffees, Conte said Son's quality prevents him from fretting about any lack of goals, adding he would feel the same if Kane endured a drought.

"I wasn't really worried about Sonny, or maybe last season, if Harry didn't score goals," Conte said on Friday. "We are talking about two important players for us, they work very well.

"It can happen during the season that you have a period where you can't score or are a bit unlucky, but I repeat, we are talking about two important strikers.

"For sure, by the end of the season, I know that they are going to score more goals to help us do our best."

Kane's tally of eight Premier League goals this season is only bettered by Manchester City's Erling Haaland (15), and the England captain has scored 13 goals in 14 league appearances against Everton.

That return includes six doubles – only Alan Shearer has scored multiple goals against a specific opponent more often in the competition (seven times v Leeds United; six braces, one hat-trick).

Kane's form has helped Tottenham cope with the absence of fellow attacker Dejan Kulusevski, who has been ruled out since last month after sustaining a hamstring injury.

Conte pledged not to take any "stupid" risks with Kulusevski's fitness as he ruled the Sweden international out of Saturday's match, adding: "We have the same players from the last game. 

"Deki is still not available for the Everton game. The rest of the players are okay. 

"We need to have a bit of patience with him, and to not take any stupid risks because we play a lot of games between now and November.

"It's important he recovers very well, and in this moment he is not 100 per cent in perfect physical condition. For this reason, it's good to respect the opinions of the doctors."

Conte has seen his sides keep clean sheets in all six of his Premier League meetings with Everton. Should Tottenham shut Frank Lampard's men out this week, the Spurs boss will match Roberto Mancini (seven v Wigan Athletic) for the most games against a single side without conceding in the competition as coach.

Son Heung-min's link-up with fellow Tottenham star Harry Kane is purely a "pay-off for hard work".

Son scored twice on Wednesday, either side of a Kane penalty, as Spurs ran out 3-2 winners over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

Antonio Conte's side moved to the Group D summit after coming from behind to defeat the Europa League holders at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Kane set up Son for the equaliser after the hosts fell behind to Daichi Kamada's early strike, meaning the pair have now combined to score on 50 occasions for Spurs across all competitions.

Kane has teed up 24 goals for Son, who has supplied 26 assists for the England captain. Since the start of last season, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, the scorer of a record-setting hat-trick in Liverpool's win over Rangers elsewhere on Wednesday, is the only Premier League player with more strikes in all competitions (39) than the Spurs pair (Kane has netted 36, with Son scoring 29).

The South Korea captain paid tribute to his fearsome partnership with Kane, telling BT Sport: "We just understand each other really well. I know what he likes to do, and he's the same.

"The relationship, it's always hard work and good effort. It's always been a pay-off for hard work. [There will be] many more [combinations] to come, I hope."

Son's second goal was the pick of the bunch as he put Tottenham 3-1 up before the break.

Connecting with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's pinpoint cross, the forward unleashed a thumping volley that would eventually prove decisive after Faride Alidou's late header ensured a nervy finish for Spurs.

"The ball was just really clear to me and there was only one option; to take the volley," Son added. "I hit it really clean, I was very happy.

"The last five minutes were really tough. In the Champions League, you never know what will happen. It was uncomfortable sitting on the bench and watching. The most important thing was the three points."

Meanwhile, head coach Conte said "it would have been a disaster" had Spurs surrendered their lead in the closing stages, with Kane missing a stoppage-time penalty to put them home and dry. The 29-year-old has missed two of his last four penalties in all competitions for Tottenham, having previously scored 21 successive spot-kicks for the club.

"We started in a very difficult way, conceding the first goal," Conte said. "We scored three goals and had big chances. In the end, we are leading our group.

"Until the end, we had to stay focused. It would have been a disaster if we drew a game like this."

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte described Harry Kane as "not only a top player but a top person" after the England captain launched a foundation to change attitudes towards mental health.

On Monday, which was World Mental Health Day, the striker launched the Harry Kane Foundation, with the aims of normalising conversations regarding mental health and tackling stigma.

Kane said he hoped to use his platform to "encourage others to look after their mental health, be their best and not be afraid to ask for help," during Monday's launch.

Speaking on the eve of Tottenham's Champions League fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt, Conte highlighted Kane's suitability for such a role.

"Harry, for me, is the best person to represent this type of campaign, because he's not only a top player but a top person," Conte said.

"He's a really good example and to give him this type of responsibility is good, because you invite people to follow this campaign.

"I'm sure at the same time Harry is really focused on football. I like that he is involved in this type of situation."

Kane hopes his own journey to the top level, which saw him endure several loan spells at lower-league sides, can act as inspiration to anybody experiencing doubts over their abilities.

"It's always been part of my personality to prove people wrong," Kane said.

"When you look back at my career, going out on loan, the things I had to achieve to get to where I am now… for sure, that's part of my identity.

"It's a really important message for any young boys or girls wanting to become footballers or anything in life.

"There are going to be knocks along the way, and ups and downs, but it's about how you cope with that, keep working and keep moving forwards."

Meanwhile, Kane is set to take part in another campaign at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, joining the captains of several other European nations in wearing a rainbow armband as part of an anti-discrimination effort.

Kane intimated on Tuesday that those involved were still prepared to wear the armband in the event of disciplinary action being taken against them, saying: "We've decided that we want to wear it and that's our thought process going forward.

"It'll be down to FIFA, and the FA, I'm sure, will be in contact with them. I haven't heard anything personally yet, so at the moment we're in line to wear it. If anything changes, we'll cross that bridge when it comes."

Harry Kane says Manchester City attacker Erling Haaland is a "fantastic" player but the Tottenham forward is not getting caught up in comparisons or speculation over his own future amid links with Bayern Munich.

The England captain was linked to Pep Guardiola's side last year in a high-profile transfer saga, with a move from north London ultimately failing to materialise after Spurs refused to let him go.

Since then, former Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland has arrived at the Etihad Stadium, ripping up the record books in the Premier League and making his presence felt in Europe too.

Ahead of Wednesday's home Champions League encounter with Eintracht Frankfurt, Kane did not wish to focus on his rivals or what might have been for his own career.

Instead, he would prefer to solve his own continental drought as he still awaits is first goal of the European campaign, though he admits Haaland is in superlative form.

"I'm not someone who likes to think or talk about other players too much," Kane said. 

"He's had a fantastic start to the season, full credit to him, but I can't control that, so I'm concentrating on what I can do.

"I'm helping the team in any way possible, it has been going well so far in the Premier League and I want to score a few more goals in the Champions League for sure.

"People are talking about him [Haaland] and rightly so, he's had a fantastic start. But we've got a long way to go, and there's a lot of games coming up, so I'm concentrating on what I can do."

A clash with a Bundesliga foe has reignited talk of Kane's other heavily linked suitor, in German champions Bayern, but the forward brushed off any discussion of a move, though he was complimentary of the Bavarians. 

"I’m focused on Tottenham Hotspur and trying to do my best for us," he added.

"Bayern are a top, top club - but all my concentration is on Tottenham and trying to win on [Wednesday] night."

Kane's lacklustre form in Europe has left boss Antonio Conte unconcerned, with the Italian noting that the forward continues to build upon his promise with every match.

"You know his form, Harry has started the season really well," Conte said. 

"For us, he is a really important player. He has to continue to work in the way he is working. Every day we have this possibility to improve ourselves and my demands are very high."

Antonio Conte will attend the funeral of Gian Piero Ventrone on Sunday after the Tottenham boss oversaw an emotional Premier League win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Spurs fitness coach Ventrone died on Thursday, reportedly after being diagnosed with leukaemia, and Conte said his fellow Italian had asked just days ago if he could be allowed to miss work due to illness.

After Harry Kane's goal earned a 1-0 win for Spurs, who sit third in the table, Conte spoke about the trauma that all at Tottenham have felt over the loss of Ventrone.

It was the first time Conte had opened up in public about Ventrone, having cancelled his regular pre-match press conference on Thursday.

He said it had been "really, really difficult for us to focus on the game", saying the experience of recent days had been "incredible".

Conte had not been expecting Ventrone's death, and its impact on the former Juventus and Italy coach has been profound.

He said he was aware Ventrone's health was "really problematic" early in the week.

"But no one could have expected this situation because no one knew something about this illness," Conte said. "It was an illness but under control and then it is very difficult because the situation hit me a lot under the emotional aspect.

"When it happens, it is very difficult to cover your feeling with the players and with the people that work in Tottenham.

"At the same time, I have seen a lot of solidarity. The players were really devastated by the pain and in the whole Tottenham environment the feeling was really bad because in only 10 months I think Gian Piero got through the heart of everybody."

Ventrone was a man Conte wanted on his Spurs staff, confident he would make his players stronger and fitter, with the pair having known each other for 30 years.

He described Ventrone as "a scientist". Conte spoke to Ventrone on the Thursday prior to his death, when illness was taking a toll. Ventrone said he was experiencing "a bit of a fever" and felt he could not attend training, according to Conte, but at the same time he was reluctant to be absent.

Conte said Ventrone then spoke to him about his health situation, and in turn was told not to worry about his Tottenham duties but to take care of himself.

Manager Conte said Spurs' players were "really devastated" by news of Ventrone's death, which came at the age of 62. Many have paid fond tributes to the trainer.

"Sometimes life puts you in difficult situations, but we have to cope in the best possible way to overcome this situation," Conte said in an interview posted by Tottenham. "But we'll never forget Gian Piero. Gian Piero will live in my heart and my head."

Conte explained a Tottenham delegation, which he is expected to lead along with chairman Daniel Levy, will head to Naples for the funeral.

"I want to tell his son and daughter that they need to be strong because Gian Piero was strong, a strong character," Conte said.

"He doesn't want to see us unhappy. It's difficult to make him happy because we are really devastated by the pain."

Tottenham are capable of winning the Premier League, according to Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

The Italian faces compatriot Antonio Conte's side on Saturday in his first home game since taking over from Graham Potter at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton could leapfrog Spurs into third with a win, with the Seagulls currently sitting fourth in the Premier League table, three points and three goals behind the north London club having played a game fewer.

After losing at rivals Arsenal last Sunday, Spurs are four points off the Gunners at the summit, but speaking at a press conference on Friday, De Zerbi thinks Conte's men can still challenge.

"I think Tottenham are in the right condition to win the Premier League," he said. "It's not easy, because there's [Manchester] City, Liverpool, Chelsea, but in the transfer market they bought very good players and after one year to work with Antonio, I think they are able to win the Premier League.

"The squad is better than one or two years ago. If he doesn't play [Dejan] Kulusevski, he plays Richarlison, if he doesn't play [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg or [Rodrigo] Bentancur, he can play [former Brighton midfielder, Yves] Bissouma.

"Tottenham are a good team, not only the first 11 – but 20 or 22 players."

De Zerbi's reign at Brighton got underway with an impressive 3-3 draw at Liverpool last Saturday, with Leandro Trossard scoring a hat-trick at Anfield.

"I never speak about the result, but my teams always play with courage and braveness," De Zerbi said. "I want my team playing to make the game with personality and the right mentality to build the right condition to win the game."

The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk coach also said it could take time for his influence on the team to be seen, but conceded he does not intend to change much from Potter's successful time at the club before the Englishman left for Chelsea.

"It is a difficult moment for a lot of things, for the language, for the new staff, the new team, for the new ideas," he said. "I would like to put more ideas in... I don't want to change that much, but of course I want to put my hand [on the squad].

"If [owner] Tony Bloom and [chief executive] Paul Barber have chosen me, it means they want to see the team playing with my idea of football.

"At the same time you have to deal with not changing too much, but also how to put my ideas on top."

Tributes will be paid at Saturday's game to Tottenham's fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, who died earlier this week at the age of 61 after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

"We are very sad for this loss," De Zerbi said. "Some of my assistant staff knew Gian Piero. We are sorry for him, for Antonio and his staff and for the family.

"It was very bad news for Tottenham, but also for people who work in our football world."

Son Heung-min has defended Antonio Conte's principles following recent criticism aimed the Tottenham head coach's way for recent results.

After seeing out a 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in the group stages of the Champions League, Spurs are now without a win in their past four away matches in all competitions. 

Despite starting the season well, Conte has been questioned for the way he has approached recent fixtures, including a 3-1 defeat to fierce rivals Arsenal in the Premier League. 

However, Son does not see this as an issue and stated the importance of sticking with Conte and his ideas.

He said: "We saw last season that nobody believed we would be here right now. Last season nobody believed we'd be in the Champions League. 

"The gaffer always wants more, more, more and as [a player] I want to follow his way, or you know what's coming. If we don't follow him then you know you struggle.

"We have to follow, there is no option because he's a winner and I think this is what we do – sacrifice and do the hard things."

Spurs find themselves in second place of Champions League Group D, with their next European fixture coming against Marseille on November 1. 

Antonio Conte has urged Tottenham to be "more clinical" after they were held to a goalless draw by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

Despite registering 11 shots on goal, Spurs failed to score in successive group games in the competition for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Conte's side subsequently missed the chance to move top of Group D, but the Italian praised the intensity and personality demonstrated by his players on the back of a 3-1 North London derby defeat at Arsenal.

"We played a match with great intensity; we didn't allow them to play their football or press a lot in every area of the pitch," he told BT Sport.

"At the same time, we have to be more clinical. We created many chances to score. At the end, we are talking about a draw. It is a good draw because it is not easy to play away with the atmosphere. We played a good game but if you don't score, you don't win.

"There are moments you are more clinical, there are moments like in the game against Arsenal and today; you create chances, but make a mistake with the last pass.

"It is important to create chances; the game was good for us and we played with a great personality."

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was left disappointed by his team-mates' failure to turn positive build-up play into a breakthrough, but the midfielder highlighted the maturity on display as they ended a run of three successive away defeats in the Champions League.

"We are not 100 per cent happy, I thought we prepared until the penalty area well," Hojbjerg said. "We tried to get in behind them, but the opportunities we had, we didn't use them. It's disappointing. The last bite needed a bit.

"I thought we took the game well, we tried to be dominant. We tried to find the spaces and tried to overcome the first pressure.

"If you cannot win, you don't lose the game. The team presented themselves as very mature. We are here, we are competing and every game, we want to win."

Spurs are second in Group D, two points behind Sporting CP and level on points with Eintracht.

Antonio Conte has told Tottenham fans "I'm not stupid" and "I can teach football to many people" in a strong defence of his decision to overlook Djed Spence.

Spence has made only one very brief substitute appearance for Spurs following his move from Middlesbrough in July.

Some Tottenham fans called for the right-back to be given his chance after Emerson Royal was sent off for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Martinelli during a 3-1 north London derby defeat to fierce rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

But Conte made it crystal clear he is not impressed with questions being asked about his approach ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Spurs head coach said: "If we were able to exploit the situation, especially last passes, we would have been able to score many goals against Arsenal.

"Instead, we made really bad mistakes for the last passes because we had the opportunity to go one-to-one, but every team has to think and understand the way to play different games.

"Last season we won 3-0 [against Arsenal], and when you win, the opponent has to explain, but for me it's important to have a plan, to put my players in the best possible situation to exploit their characteristics.

"Otherwise it can happen that you can concede six, seven or eight goals – in England, that happens a lot of times.

"In my career, it never, never happened because I don't like to play open, concede a lot of space and concede six, seven or eight goals. I won in England, I won in my past and I think I can teach football to many people."

He said of Spence: "The fans have to be fans. They can think anything, but I see every day the training sessions. If I don't decide to pick a player, it's because maybe he's not ready.

"We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I try to pick the best team. I'm not stupid, I don't want to lose.

"I try to pick the best team. If they trust me it's okay, if they don't trust me then I'm the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham."

Antonio Conte complained Tottenham let Arsenal off the hook in the north London derby as their dismal run at Emirates Stadium was extended.

The Spurs boss said his team lacked precision in the final third and spurned a host of opportunities to trouble Arsenal before half-time in a game that got away from them after the break.

Goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka gave Premier League leaders Arsenal a satisfying 3-1 victory, with Harry Kane's first-half penalty all that Spurs could muster.

That spot-kick brought the visitors briefly level, but Jesus scored early in the second half to restore Arsenal's lead, and a red card for Tottenham's Emerson Royal was followed by Xhaka putting the seal on victory.

Tottenham have now failed to win any of their last 12 Premier League visits to Arsenal (D4 L8), their longest ongoing such run in the competition.

Conte told BT Sport: "I think the first half was in the balance. I think in the first half we had many chances to score. We made a big mistake in the last pass because we had really, really great space and good chances to score.

"In the second half, we conceded early a second goal, and we could do much better in this situation.

"Then with the red card, the game [went]. We tried to play from the back, but it was a really difficult game for us and for the characteristics of our players. I don't want to comment on the referee's decision."

The red card was the fifth Tottenham have received at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League, their most at an away ground in the competition. They also had three previously at Highbury, Arsenal's former home.

Conte's team rarely turned attacking forays into clear chances and had just seven shots, compared to 22 by the home side.

"We had the opportunity to exploit much better in the first half," Conte said. "Instead, we kept the game in the balance, and I repeat that I think we made big mistakes in the last pass and also with easy passes."

The result meant Tottenham missed a chance to overtake their rivals at the top of the table, with Conte saying the lack of preparation time, after the international break, had made his planning difficult.

The same would have been the case for opposite number Mikel Arteta, though.

"Now we have to move on," Conte said. "We lost against Arsenal, but we know which is our role in this league, and we have to try to do our best and try to stay close with the other teams and stay at the top."

"Every defeat has a scar," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham. Some of those scars, one would imagine, are bigger than others.

Saturday's reunion with Spurs would have evoked particularly painful memories for Arsenal players and fans.

The last time the sides had met, in May, Arsenal missed the chance to secure Champions League qualification as they lost 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. When the Gunners then lost again in their next match at Newcastle United, Tottenham stole in to finish fourth.

Of course, the entire collapse played out before the Amazon cameras for Arsenal's All or Nothing documentary series.

Antonio Conte, the Tottenham coach, is yet to finish the series – although he plans to – but did confirm this week he had watched "that episode".

However, Arteta's team, Conte added, are "better" than in 2021-22 – "not only the quality but also the mentality of Arsenal".

Indeed, Arsenal suffered another damaging 3-0 defeat late last season at Crystal Palace but won 2-0 on their return to Selhurst Park on the opening day of this season. Before the international break, there was a 3-0 win at Brentford that Arsenal players were not quiet in celebrating, having also been humiliated there on their previous visit.

So, the revenge tour rolled on to Tottenham, with Arteta determined to use that May reverse "in the right way", suggesting Arsenal were not just better but better specifically because of that setback.

And for almost 30 minutes at Emirates Stadium, just about everything went to plan.

Arsenal – top of the Premier League table heading into a game against Spurs for the first time since 2007 – played as they had done all season.

The Gunners dominated possession and penned Tottenham in. When Thomas Partey curled in a brilliant opener from 25 yards after 20 minutes, Kane was the only Spurs player ahead of the ball.

It was the fourth time Arsenal had scored this season following a sequence of 10 or more passes – matching Manchester City's league high – and the third in their past two fixtures alone.

An eighth Arsenal goal in the opening half an hour of matches this season represented another Premier League benchmark, but their familiar frailties were also on show before that period was out.

While forcing Spurs back suited Arteta's game plan, it also played into the visitors' hands.

Tottenham lead the league in direct attacks in 2022-23, and the first in a series of rapid counters ended with a rash challenge from Gabriel on Richarlison and a Spurs penalty.

No fixture in Premier League history has seen more spot-kicks, and when Harry Kane coolly converted, it marked his fourth consecutive goal from the spot at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were suddenly struggling, with only the imperious William Saliba stemming the tide, and in need of the mentality Conte had lauded.

Yet the Spurs coach had also identified the cause of this shift, citing the importance of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus – "two players who are used to winning" – arriving from City.

Zinchenko was fit to start, while Jesus was refreshed after missing out on the Brazil squad and vowing to "improve" in a bid to earn a World Cup recall.

Arsenal's number nine attempted a game-high four shots – all of them after Spurs had equalised – and there was no surprise when he was the man on hand to prod in a vital second after Hugo Lloris twice failed to gather in front of his goal line.

With Arsenal this time determined not to shoot themselves in the foot, it was Tottenham's turn to lose their composure, seeing Emerson Royal sent off for a poor challenge on Gabriel Martinelli and failing to track the rejuvenated Granit Xhaka as he ran through to add the clinching third.

Coasting thereafter, a partying Emirates crowd welcomed Arsenal's first win against 'big six' opposition this season – key, surely, to hopes to turn a strong start into a genuine title challenge.

Maybe success against City or Liverpool – teams Arteta has beaten only once in 10 combined attempts – will be required to turn the doubters into believers, for the Arsenal manager has now won each of his first three league matches at home to Spurs and had not until now looked like leading a team into contention.

But given the manner in which last season ended, given the self-inflicted adversity before half-time, this 3-1 Arsenal victory could not been as anything other than a significant step forward.

"It's the nicest game of the season by a mile," Arteta said on Friday. Little over 24 hours later, unlike in May, it felt like it.

Second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka fired Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 3-1 win over 10-man Tottenham in an entertaining North London Derby on Saturday.

Arsenal were rewarded for a bright start when Thomas Partey produced a stunning long-range finish after 20 minutes, but Harry Kane swiftly levelled with a penalty.

The impressive Gunners hit the front again when Jesus bundled home following Hugo Lloris' mistake, and Tottenham's hopes of a comeback were dashed when Emerson Royal was sent off. 

Xhaka then drilled into the bottom-right corner as Mikel Arteta's rampant side moved four points clear of Manchester City and consigned their fierce rivals to a first Premier League defeat of the season.

Both goalkeepers were called into action during a lively start, with Lloris tipping Gabriel Martinelli's fierce volley onto his right-hand post before Aaron Ramsdale clawed Richarlison's effort away from the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved lead when Partey curled an excellent first-time strike into the top-right corner from outside the area.

But the Gunners contrived to gift Tottenham an equaliser after 31 minutes, with Kane stroking home his 44th London derby goal from the penalty spot after Gabriel Magalhaes clumsily felled Richarlison.

Arsenal required just four minutes of the second half to move back into the lead, as Lloris pushed Bukayo Saka's tame shot straight to Jesus, who gratefully prodded home.

Jesus missed a good chance to extend Arsenal's lead when he failed to convert a header three minutes later, but Spurs' task was made far more difficult when Emerson saw red for a reckless challenge on Martinelli.

Emerson's dismissal allowed Arsenal to push forward in search of a third goal, and they made the points safe when Xhaka fired a low finish beyond Lloris from inside the box.

Antonio Conte has pointed to Arsenal's improvement under Mikel Arteta as proof that "time and patience" is needed to succeed in the Premier League.

Arsenal sit top of the table after winning six of their first seven games this season.

Tottenham boss Conte takes his team to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday for the north London derby, sitting just two places and one point behind the Gunners after their own impressive start to the campaign.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Conte – who has previously spoken about needing time to get Spurs up to the level of other top clubs in England – was keen to shine a light on the patience shown by their rivals.

"I think the club backed Arteta in these years, and you are seeing that when you trust in a person, and Arsenal showed also in a tough period now with Arteta to back him in every moment," he said. "And now they are having good results.

"I think they're doing a good job. But in my opinion, it's always very, very important to go together with the manager and with the club.

"If you want to build something important, you have to go together to have a good relationship and I think the manager in every decision that is going to [be made] has to have a good explanation to the club why I want this [player] and not this player.

"It's right for the manager to show the vision that you have and then the club has to agree with them. I think to have a good relationship, a great link between the manager and the club, for sure you [will] have a much better future than the present."

Conte has been repeatedly questioned about his future at Spurs, especially with rumours of a return to Juventus should the Italian giants part with Massimiliano Allegri.

However, the 53-year-old wants to focus on his job in London, reiterating the need for patience.

"I know that we need to have time and a bit of patience to try to build a path to become seriously competitive with [Manchester] City, Liverpool, Chelsea, [Manchester] United and Arsenal," he added.

"For me, it's important to realise this and to understand that we need time and patience. I enjoy working with this club and it is very important to have a good relationship with the owner, with Fabio [Paratici], to stay in the same line, the same vision.

"Then I know very well that maybe in other clubs you have the possibility to have a path that's not so long."

Only Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham spent more than Tottenham's £152.91million in the recent transfer window in the Premier League, but Conte maintains the club have to do things differently to their rivals when it comes to improving their squad.

"I hear sometimes that people [praise you for] two or three good results, but it's important to be honest, to know what the reality [is] and to be ready to fight, to be ready to work to try to improve the situation," he said.

"You know very well that you need time and patience to improve the squad slowly. And you have to know that other clubs can go into the transfer market and put [in] a lot of money and you have to do things with common sense and I think maybe it's the right way for a club like Tottenham."

Antonio Conte is relaxed regarding his contract situation at Tottenham, despite his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

Although Spurs have a year's option on Conte's deal – which initially runs until 2023, speculation has suggested he could be tempted to return to Juventus at the end of the campaign.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of Tottenham's trip to north London rivals Arsenal, Conte labelled such reports "disrespectful", and the Italian has now said there is no rush to agree fresh terms. 

"There is not [a] contract, there is not [an] option… if the club and the manager want to work together, they will continue to work together. If they don't want to work together, they finish," Conte told reporters.

"The most important thing for me is that I'm really enjoying working with Tottenham, with these players, especially, and the relationship with Daniel [Levy] and Fabio [Paratici] is good. 

"I'm okay and I think the club is happy about this situation. Now, the most important thing for Tottenham's present and Tottenham's future is to get the best possible result [against Arsenal]."

Asked whether the Premier League's upcoming break for the World Cup could represent the ideal time to engage in talks over a renewal, Conte added: "There doesn't exist a right time.

"It could be tomorrow. It could be the last day of the Premier League season. The most important thing for me and the club is to understand we want to continue together, to go in the same direction. 

"Otherwise, I don't see a problem. I said in the past I didn't need another contract to be sure to stay in a club. 

"Also, for the club, it’s a good investment to have a coach like me and my staff. At the right time, I will take the best decision. At this moment, I'm really happy.

"I don't want to push the club about the situation because it's not the right time. We have just started the season and we have a long time to live together and to understand, to continue to work together."

Antonio Conte described reports linking him with a return to Juventus as "disrespectful" ahead of Tottenham's North London Derby clash with Arsenal.

Spurs are unbeaten in their seven Premier League games this season and trail the Gunners by just one point ahead of Saturday's trip to the Emirates Stadium. 

Should Tottenham avoid defeat at the home of their local rivals, it will be just the second time they have gone unbeaten through their first eight games of a Premier League season, having previously done so in 2016-17.

Conte's work with Tottenham has seen him linked with a return to Juventus, who he led to three consecutive Serie A titles between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure after they recorded just two wins in their opening seven Serie A matches this season, but Conte has rubbished speculation he would be tempted by a return to Turin. 

"This is incredible. In this period I think this is disrespectful for the coach that works in Juventus and for me working in Tottenham," Conte said on Thursday.

"We have just started the season. Many times I have spoken about this topic and I've always said I'm happy and enjoying my time with Tottenham. 

"We have the whole season to find the best solution for the club and for me, and for sure I'm enjoying my time at Tottenham. I have a great relationship with the owner [Daniel Levy] and [sporting director Fabio] Paratici. 

"I don't see any problems at the moment in the future. We both signed the contract. I don't want to listen to someone speaking about this."

Tottenham overcame Arsenal in a tense battle for Champions League qualification last season, going on to claim fourth place after beating the Gunners 3-0 in May.

Conte, however, believes Mikel Arteta's side have improved since then, adding: "For sure Arsenal had a fantastic start, they lost only one game against [Manchester] United. They are showing to be a really good team.

"In the summer they made good signings and improved the team that, don't forget, before the last three games of last season, were four points up on us. 

"We are talking about a really good team that, last season, we did a really good job to overcome in the last three games.

"At the same time, I know the quality of this team, that they are working with Arteta for many years. For me, he's a really good coach. He can have in front of him a great career."

Both Hugo Lloris and Dejan Kulusevski are reportedly doubtful for the trip to Arsenal with minor injuries, and Conte believes the punishing nature of the schedule between now and the World Cup will reveal which sides are genuine title contenders. 

"I have seen that many clubs are having big problems with players that played these two games [in the international break], and for sure Tottenham is one of these clubs," he added.

"You have to understand this was the last game [for the players] to show they deserve to play the World Cup, also for the coaches it was the last period to call the players.

"For sure, to play so many games before the international break, and then again now to play 13 games in 43 days, it's crazy, it's crazy. 

"For sure, we have to face it with injuries. In this period, you understand which are the really competitive squads. 

"This is the moment in which you understand who are the title contenders and the teams that are competitive for Champions League."

Saturday's match will be the first North London Derby since December 2007 to begin with one of the sides sitting top of the Premier League. 

Should Spurs win, it would be the first time in top-flight history that either of the teams has beaten the other to replace them at the top of the table.

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